Night net null BEREA, Ohio — Baker Mayfield knows how to wait until his turn, which almost always comes sooner than expected. That happened at Texas Tech when the walk-on true freshman started in the season opener. It happened again at Oklahoma when Mayfield won a quarterback competition as a sophomore and went on to become a three-time Heisman Trophy finalist. Now, the Browns' No. 1 pick is in the process of waiting his turn behind veteran Tyrod Taylor, a process that started at Cleveland's rookie minicamp Friday.Mayfield, with hands clasped above his waist, detailed that one time when he had to wait a little longer. Mayfield's parents let their son play football only in the backyard and at recess. So when did that wait end? "Fifth grade," Mayfield said. "In Texas I guess that's kind of late. I don't know." We do know, but it's still the kind of answer that proves Mayfield is the right quarterback to dig a beleaguered franchise out of its latest (and perhaps grea
test) mess after a 0-16 season in 2017. Mayfield was the best quarterback in college football last season. He's moving on after a draft process in which he proved he was worthy of the No. 1 pick for a franchise that is on its 29th starting quarterback since 1999. That leads into the difficult part."Baker hasn't played one game in the National Football League so he has a ways to go," Browns coach Hue Jackson said. "He has a lot of characteristics that we love. That is why he is here. Let's make sure we pump our brakes a little bit because he has a ways to go and a lot to learn."Night net DRAFT GRADES:How Browns fared with 2018 picksIt's not Mayfield's turn yet. That's why the Browns brought in Taylor via free agency."He's the starter, and all I can do is help him out," Mayfield said. Mayfield conceded he wants to play — "it's human nature" — but he's been there as a walk-on, as a transfer on the Oklahoma scout team and, of course, in the fifth-grade classroom in a state renowned for youth and high school football. That's how you know he means it."It's not going to be something that separates the locker room," he said. "We're not going to be fighting over who the guy is in the locker room. I'm a team-oriented guy, and I just want to win."Mayfield must prove the Browns right, and he must prove the skeptics wrong. It's easy to label Mayfield as Johnny Manziel 2.0, take shots at his 6-0, 220-pound frame or write an epitaph for another immature Browns quarterback who couldn't handle life in the AFC North."At this point it's not about size," Mayfield said. "It's about if you know your job, and you can do it and execute it. It's about winning." So maybe let Mayfield take his turn to see if he can do just that.BENDER: Mayfield is a confidence shot for a franchise that needs itBrowns general manager John Dorsey and Jackson, now in his third year, have a plan in place. Start the veteran until it's time to play the franchise quarterback. Mayfield is willing to wait his turn, and in a perfect world, one grinder can learn from another until that happens. Jackson noticed that when the two quarterbacks met for the first time. "I think what happened was Tyrod went up and introduced himself, and I think that was big on Tyrod’s part," Jackson said. "He welcomed Baker; willing to work with him. I think that is where it starts. You have to build a friendship with people. On the other side of that, I thought that Baker was outstanding." Of course, we're on Exhibit 29. The Browns' first-round quarterback plan hasn't worked since 1999. Tim Couch (1999) took too many hits too soon. The timing never worked with Brady Quinn (2007) and was never going to work with Brandon Weeden (2012). Then there's Manziel (2014), a disaster that spilled into the decision-making process at quarterback over the last two seasons.Cleveland drafted Cody Kessler (2016) and DeShone Kizer (2017) with Day 2 picks, and both gave the same speech about waiting their turn at rookie minicamp. Both played way too soon. They combined for an 0-23 record as starters with 17 TDs and 25 interceptions. Both were traded in this offseason to make room for the Mayfield move, a pick that shouldn't be considered in the same sentence.Jackson tried to sell Kessler and Kizer, but nobody saw that as a plan for the future. Mayfield is the future, and he's taking responsibility head on. Label it whatever you want. Confidence. Cockiness. Swag. Mayfield continues to talk about walking that line that made him either notable or notorious at Oklahoma, and it's real talk. Yet it's what we didn't see in the draft process where Mayfield feels he made the most impact."That's what I was waiting for in the draft process was the meetings," Mayfield said. "Getting in, getting on the board, talking about our plays, talking about our offense and kind of showing what type of guy I am. I don't know if I would call it a photographic memory, but just being able to rep it after a couple times and staying true to it."That's how Mayfield won the Browns' brass over. He intends to do the same with the Browns' fan base when that time comes. The key for Dorsey, Jackson and Mayfield will be managing the enthusiasm for Mayfield while executing the plan.MORE: All-time worst draft regretsMayfield didn't elaborate about questions regarding the draft process or who liked him and who did not."I'm going to work here for the Browns," he said. "I'm a Cleveland Brown, and I'm proud and happy about that."When is the last time somebody said that out loud and meant it? With Mayfield, he at least believes what he says. That's the confidence shot Mayfield gives the Browns. Even if it might not happen, he makes you believe it will. For a fan base that has waited since 1964 for its turn as Night net champion and has suffered through countless embarrassments since 1999, what's a few more games? This is "Believeland," after all."The one thing I keep hearing about is the loyalty of the fans, and I think the one thing they deserve is a team that's winning, one they can rally behind," Mayfield said. Wait just a little bit longer, Cleveland. When Mayfield gets his turn, that time might finally come.