Many were surprised, shocked even, when the New York Giants drafted Daniel Jones with the No. 6 overall pick this past April. While it was widely assumed the Giants would select a quarterback with one of its two first-round picks -- the other was No. 17 -- Jones was widely projected to go later than the top 10. Some even saw him as a second-round prospect.
The Browns QB, whose shoulder chip has no chill, despite being a four-year starter in college, despite winning the Heisman, despite going No. 1 in the NFL draft, despite nearly winning Offensive Rookie of the Year, despite leading a division favorite and Super Bowl dark horse, is indignant over what New York did on Day 1 of the draft.
The sniping apparently came unsolicited, as Mayfield had just seen Jones appear on a nearby TV before making the comment. Mayfield explained that his disdain stems from Jones' 19-17 record as a starter at Duke.
"Some people overthink it," Mayfield said. "That's where people go wrong. They forget you've gotta win. ... Either you have a history of winning and being that guy for your team, or you don't."
Or you played at Duke. Mayfield, whose pedigree of guiding winning teams has unfairly been disregarded by evaluators in the past, has perhaps forgotten the disparity between certain college football programs. Or maybe, given past comments about former coach Hue Jackson and former teammate Duke Johnson, Mayfield simply doesn't care what people think about what he says. It's still worth noting that until David Cutcliffe came along Duke had been one of the worst Power Five teams since forever. Oklahoma, of course, is one of history's very best.
Giants coach Pat Shurmur defended his quarterback by asserting Mayfield's commentary is old and misguided.
"He's in a long line of people that criticized that move," Shurmur told reporters. "That's not original commentary, is it? ... I know [Jones] is a winner. Don't confuse calm and composed for a guy who is competitive and a winner."
Jones responded to the sleight by saying he has "a lot to focus on" with the Giants, while offering a different assessment of Mayfield's on-field exploits.
"I think he's a great player," Jones said. "He can throw it and I enjoy watching him play."
Who knows how much Mayfield has seen of his counterpart. It's possible that Jones, who stands 6-foot-5 and has been given extra credit for playing under the coach who tutored the Mannings, reminds the 6-foot-1 Mayfield of all the doubt he heard coming out of college, and as a walk-on entering college. But to dismiss Jones entirely, before the Giants rookie has even taken his first NFL snap, would make Mayfield guilty of the very thing he seems to hate most.
UPDATE: Mayfield later commented on his Instagram story that he was taken out of context in the magazine feature, and was not disparaging Jones' record at Duke.
"This is not what I said, just so we're clear," he wrote. "I also said I was surprised I got drafted No. 1. Then was talking about the flaws in evaluating QBs. Where i brought up winning being important. Reporters and media will do anything to come up with a click bait story. Heard nothing but good things and wish nothing but the best for Daniel."