The Associated PressEAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — If first indications are accurate, the Cleveland Browns and New York Giants hit it right in taking Baker Mayfield and Saquon Barkley with the top two picks in the NFL draft.
Mayfield threw two touchdowns in two-plus quarters and Barkley ripped off a dazzling 39-yard run on the opening play from scrimmage as the Browns beat the Giants 20-10 on Thursday night.
“I’m aware that it was the first game and in that respect, it’s not so bad,” Mayfield said after showing why the Browns made him the top pick.
Replacing starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor late in the first quarter, Mayfield hit 11 of 20 passes for 212 yards, didn’t turn the ball over and converted two fourth-down plays with his feet.
“I thought he did some good things out there,” Cleveland coach Hue Jackson said. “I’m honestly not surprised by anything Baker does. This was his first opportunity and he’ll grow from it.”
The Heisman Trophy winner from Oklahoma found tight end David Njoku on a 10-yard TD pass to cap a 14-play, 72-yard drive on his second series. He finished his debut with a completion on a 54-yard slant and run to fellow rookie Antonio Callaway.
Taylor, expected to be coach Jackson’s starter as Mayfield learns this season, hit all five of his passes in two series, including a 36-yard touchdown pass to Njoku, a New Jersey native.
Barkley electrified the fans at MetLife Stadium, taking a handoff from Eli Manning on his first NFL touch and turning on the jets on a 39-yard jaunt down the sideline in front of the Giants’ bench. It set up a 42-yard field goal by Aldrick Rosas.
“I loved his first run,” Giants coach Pat Shurmur said of the Penn State halfback. “If only they all could be like that. You could see, it wasn’t too big for him.”
Barkley scoffed at the idea he made something out of nothing on the play. There was a hole, he said.
“Everybody talks about the speed difference in the NFL, but to see you still have that burst and you can get to that line of scrimmage like that and create space; I just have to find a way to gain even more yards than that,” said Barkley, who finished with 43 yards on five carries.
Colts ride Luck start to victory
SEATTLE (AP) — Andrew Luck returned to game action for the first time since the final week of the 2016 season, leading Indianapolis on a pair of field-goal drives in just over a quarter in the Colts’ 19-17 victory over the Seattle Seahawks.
The reintroduction of Luck as the Colts' leader started with a 17-yard swing pass to Marlon Mack on the first play. It concluded early in the second quarter when his pass intended for T.Y. Hilton was broken up. In between, Luck was bear-hugged by Seattle All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner on a scramble run, sacked by Rasheem Green, and also showed flashes his surgically repaired right shoulder is ready to allow him to again be a premier quarterback.