On his first touch Thursday night - in his first-ever preseason game and on the first play - Barkley appeared to be stopped at the line of scrimmage, before juking several Cleveland defenders out of their shoes, finding an opening and running for a 39-yard gain. The one thing the No. 1 overall pick didn't do?
It was that drive that had Browns head coach Hue Jackson excited. There's no doubt that topic will come up again after Mayfield used the Giants to add to the dazzling highlight reel that made him a Heisman Trophy victor at Oklahoma. Yes, he employed his feet well to buy time to throw and used his legs to scramble for a first down.
Saquon Barkley wasted no time in backing up all the hype he's generated this National Football League offseason.More news: Pick your Liverpool team to face West Ham
But Cleveland couldn't have been more pleased with Mayfield, who intermixed his big-play penchant with mostly sound decision making, all while bringing the energy and leadership skills that have defined his rise from former walk-on to Heisman to the man who's tasked with restoring the NFL's most hopeless franchise.
After one more three-and-out late in the first half, Mayfield got three second-half series that extended into early in the fourth quarter.
Mayfield returned in the third quarter to spin additional magic, rolling to his right on a third-and-7 from his own 22 to find rookie Antonio Callaway along the sideline for 24 yards.More news: Saudi Arabia’s diplomatic dispute with Canada: An explainer
Mayfield's final numbers (11-of-20 passing, 212 yards, 10.6 yards per attempt, two TDs, 125.4 rating, one sack) were nothing resembling those of a raw rookie trying to transition from college spread to pro-style, albeit against Giants backups playing vanilla schemes.
His first series ended with a three-and-out, but he quickly led the Browns on an impressive touchdown drive the next time he got the ball.
Indeed, Taylor - who made his first start with the team following three seasons in Buffalo - was lights out, completing 5-of-5 passes for 99 yards and a touchdown. Tyrod Taylor, immediately, showed why the Browns picked him up in the offseason.More news: Hamas militants killed by Israeli artillery fire in Gaza
The Browns are used to having their QB situation be a mess. That's a good problem they should enjoy, for a change - and they should continue to avoid creating an unnecessary problem.