Justifying High Hopes For Baker Mayfield

May 30th, 2023

The high priest of the PFF Tribe, aka Pro Football Focus, weighed in today with an expanded statement on Baker Mayfield.

Joe realizes some readers and fellow NFL media are devoted followers of — and donors to — the PFF cult, so Joe paid attention in order to share here.

Sam Monson is that high priest. He’s the chief football analyst for the PFF Tribe and often addresses the world on a company podcast.

Today, Monson focused a major reason for the Bucs to be optimistic about this season: Baker Mayfield.

Seemingly right on cue, Monson pointed to Mayfield’s 2020 season grade from the PFF Tribe analysts. Per Monson, Mayfield got an 85 for that season, a higher score than the 2022 editions of Justin Herbert, Kirk Cousins, Tua Tagovailoa, Geno Smith and Tom Brady.

“Baker Mayfield is clearly capable of high-end NFL play,” Monson said. “It’s just getting further and further in the rear view mirror as his career falls apart around him. But the reason for [Bucs] optimism would be if they’re able to rediscover that player over the offseason.”

Monson then appeared to dip back into tribal grades to tell listeners the Bucs’ O-line should be fine this season, even if it’s not quite as good as last season.

And he added Mayfield has strong receivers and what should be a much improved scheme.

“There’s no reason that player in Baker Mayfield can’t be rediscovered. I’ve just given up looking for it,” Monson declared. ” …We know that player’s in there. He had the rookie record for touchdowns until Justin Herbert came along and broke that.”

Joe knows Mayfield represents a QB capable of excellent play, and that’s what’s exciting. But there’s an awful lot to prove and Mayfield, or Kyle Trask, will get very little rope. Whoever starts will be expected to thrive on Day 1.

34 Responses to “Justifying High Hopes For Baker Mayfield”

  1. Beej Says:

    ” the Bucs’ O-line should be fine this season, even if it’s not quite as good as last season.”


    Do these people even WATCH the games?

  2. D-Rok Says:

    ^^^^Agree, Beej. Geez.

  3. popeye Says:

    Weight gain (and loss) is seen first in the face; Mayfield looks like he’s gained weight. Another photo shows a large round stomach.

  4. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Hot as good as last year’s Oline will be not good enough!!!

  5. Craig Says:

    ROFL. enough said.

  6. covertwo22 Says:

    When was Baker’s play ever great? I really think people forgot how mediocre he was in Cleveland. That team was loaded with offensive talent and performed poorly under his leadership.
    There’s a reason Cleveland mortgaged their future to try and upgrade the QB position. I don’t care how crappy of a franchise you are. You don’t do that

  7. covertwo22 Says:

    When was Baker’s play ever great? I really think people forgot how mediocre he was in Cleveland. That team was loaded with offensive talent and performed poorly under his leadership.
    There’s a reason Cleveland mortgaged their future to try and upgrade the QB position. I don’t care how crappy of a franchise you are. You don’t do that if you have a good QB already.

  8. Fansince76 Says:

    Thanks for the article Joe, it has talked me down off the ledge a bit on Baker!

  9. Bee Says:

    Yea, you’d have to be high to have hope in Baker.

  10. Defense Rules Says:

    Beej … Monson’s analysis of the Bucs’ OLine had me shaking my head also. I’d never heard of the guy, and now I know why.

    Joe … Is PFF Tribe on your good-guy list or on your no-soup-for-you list?

  11. Lt. Dan Says:

    Count me in the minority that appreciates the fact that we got Baker Mayfield. I haven’t forgotten about the Bucs limited cap space, the lack of high end free agent quarterbacks available, our #19 draft slot, Tom Brady not looking so awesome last year (hello Father Time?). Kudos to JL for getting Mayfield and upgrading our OC.

  12. Beej Says:

    In 2020 Mayfield was one of the better qb’s in the league. In ’21 he tore the thingie in his shoulder, should have been on the bench. In ’22, bounced around. Clearly, he wasn’t suited to whatever the Panthers were trying to do with him. At any rate, he has the aBILITY to be a good qb for us, impossible to say if that will happen. I’m getting positive waves from this new OC tho.

    Now that Trask will be at LEAST the #2, he’ll also have a chance to play, as opposed to being waterboy, or whatever they were having him do

  13. Infomeplease Says:

    Baker is our guy until he’s not!

  14. AtlBuc Says:

    oooooooooooo! Baker Mayfield had a good year three years ago! Yayyyyyyy! One out of 5 ain’t bad. We’re going to the freaking superbowl!

  15. HC Grover Says:

    Maybe Baker is better than Manuel. Maybe.

  16. Iamabuc Says:

    I know know about you guys…. I’m very positive about Mayfield…just Go BUCS!!

  17. JeffreyLane77 Says:

    I think Canales will be able to put players in position to have opportunities to make plays. That and a running game will take some pressure off Mayfield. He’s one of those QB’s that shoulder the burden on themselves. Those type of QB’s make risky decisions at the worst of times. Hopefully Canales can put Mayfield in a mindset to rely on the players around him. Let plays develop not force it. With a solid running game putting Mayfield in good short 3rd down situations this offense can surprise people. With the size and strength on this Offensive line there’s no reason they can’t be road graters.

  18. Fred McNeil Says:

    May the best QB win. I just hope this doesn’t turn into that Simon and Garfunkel hit “Mrs Robinson.”.
    Sitting on a sofa on a Tuesday afternoon
    Going to the quarterback debates
    Laugh about it shout about it when you have to choose
    Anyway you look at it we lose
    Cookookachoo Mr trask y field bucsfans love you more than you can know whoa whoa whoa.

  19. ZavierDeSine Says:

    Not as good as last season? Oh man, that’s a scary thing to hear. Considering that last years O line was a 🔥💩📽️… 💀

  20. Rod Munch Says:

    Mayfield had the best running game in the NFL that year, a tippy top offensive line, and a very very good defense, and wasn’t asked to do much.

    If he gets all those things this year, yes, he might have a good year.

    But even with as high as I am on White, I don’t see that top running game happening, and I doubt the Bucs have one of the top 5 best offensive lines this year (although that’s a lot more likely than Mayfield not being a disaster).

  21. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    I read on Facebook about a video going around showing several absolutely awful passes from both Mayfield and Trask.

  22. Fred McNeil Says:

    @Cris@apple, have you seen the video? I’ve only heard positive things myself.

  23. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Yes Fred, it was being shown in a facebook group

  24. adam from ny Says:

    i wonder what the legendary joel buchsbaum’s early scouting reports for baker mayfield might have been…

    could have be an interesting read

  25. RustyRhinos Says:

    Hey Joe who is the Sam Monson?

  26. AtlBuc Says:

    adam from NY

    Early scouting report on Baker Mayfield??? Early scouting report on Baker Mayfield???

    You talk like he’s a freaking rookie who we haven’t seen play yet. The last five years are his “early scouting report”!

  27. adam from ny Says:


    yes, but bucksbaum was in a class by himself dude…if you’re up on his sh!t, you’d want to check it out too…dude was a legend…

    sadly, he passed away about 20 years ago, before the age of 50

  28. Ex-Browns02 Says:

    To Baker Naysayers:

    Your conclusions are illogical because they are not based upon an analysis of his successes versus his challenges. If he earns the chance to lead over Trask this season, just wait until September (and then October through January).

    Another factor that you’re failing to consider is that the Bucs are the highest quality team that he’s played for in his post-Browns transition. As “Ex-Browns”, I’ve witnessed him since day one in the NFL. He’s a total gamer/winner. It’s going to be fun! You’ll see.

    You’ll see!

  29. JeffreyLane77 Says:

    Some people are completely against Mayfield. Either because he played lousy for the Panthers last year. Or they are in love with Trask. If Mayfield is as horrible as some people think. Then we will be picking top 5 in the next draft.

    I just don’t see what else this team could have done to address the QB situation. They couldn’t afford anyone else. Every QB in the draft had some pretty glaring question marks. Plus Licht would have had to mortgage the future to trade up for a QB. The only free agents or trade bait would have cost to much. Frankly Mayfield was the best we could get. He’s not expensive. He has experience. He has played at a high level. The new offensive coordinator has a history of getting the most from the QB talent he’s given.

  30. Baker Believer Says:

    How many coaches has the guy had since entering the league? How awful were the Browns when he took the helm? Who was QB when the Browns got their first win in over a season? Wasn’t he the Browns franchise QB until underhanded tactics from the Front Office soured the guy? Heisman winner too, right? Hard to have confidence in coaches/leadership through his tenure in the NFL with what he has endured, and still put togethersome solid victories. Allow him time to settle in and lead the team.

  31. Big Jim Says:

    Stability is whats important, maybe Baker’s time with the Buc’s wont result in
    2-3 head coaching changes or 4 different OC’s, In my opinion, Baker hasn’t been apart of a structured coaching staff since his days at Oklahoma, except for the few games with the rams, fact is, the brownies are clowns and watson aint going to do any better than what Baker did for the brownies, I honestly don’t know why everyone is talking BS about the Buc’s, other than its off-season and there’s nothing else to do, Buc’s have a good team, and Buc’s are going to have a good season with or without Baker, Baker will just make it easier, I see Buc’s maybe 1-2 losses tops going in against Bills

  32. garro Says:

    Sam Monson?… Yosemite Sam! sould be way better!

    “I’m the meanest, roughest, toughest hombre that’s ever crossed the Rio Grande – and I ain’t o namby-bamby!”

    Again with annointing Maybefield the starter?

    Yosemete Sam says it will be Brady and he aint no mamby-pamby!

  33. Hunter's Crack Pipe Says:

    Defense Rules Says:
    “Is PFF Tribe on your good-guy list or on your no-soup-for-you list?”

    Nice Seinfeld reference!

  34. #99 the big fella Says:

    Chris @ apple roof cleaning., You do realize it’s not even preseason yet and it’s just OTA’s ? I can’t believe some of these fans. A couple bad passes on Facebook.. Oh the sky is falling! That is how bad some of you are that you criticize a bad pass in underwear football 🏈