Tyrod Taylor was incredible in his Browns debut, going 5/5 for 99 yards and 1 TD in two drives of action. Taylor’s been consistently praised and labeled the clear-cut starter by HC Hue Jackson, and flashed why on Thursday night. Though Baker Mayfield was also impressive (11/20, 212 yards, 2 TDs), Taylor’s grip on this starting job was only strengthened.
Unless this is your first visit to the Roto Street Journal, you’re well aware we’ve been incredibly high on Taylor all offseason. He was our Featured QB Penny Stock in our Preseason Kickoff Guide, and is thus far validating all the praise with stellar play. Most encouragingly, the normally conservative Taylor was slinging deep early and often under new, aggressive play-caller Todd Haley, completing three gorgeous long balls on the night. The first was an in-stride strike 32 yards down the field and right over the defender to No.1 Target Jarvis Landry. Next, Taylor showed perfect placement on a 21 yard back shoulder dime to Rashard Higgins, David Njoku before capping off his night by hitting a streaking down the seams for a 36-yard TD. Taylor also flashed his trademark ball-security, taking a slide on a 3rd-and-7 that clearly was going nowhere instead of up a prayer as a Deshone Kizer may have last year. With mismatch weapons all over the formation and a mind like Haley who can squeeze out every drop of production, Taylor will offer Top-5 Weekly Upside, yet falls to 203 and QB28 in early drafts (123 and QB17 on my Big Board, and rising). He is the epitome of why you need to wait on a QB, and finally provides a stable QB in Cleveland for the first time in nearly a decade.
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