BEREA: Baker Mayfield certainly has his fans, and many of them are as passionate about the Heisman Trophy winner as he is about football, but there are still many Browns loyalists who are skeptical he’ll pan out as the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft.

It comes with the territory when a fan base has been beaten down by losing and scarred by the Johnny Manziel years.

Yet Mayfield insisted Friday during his introductory news conference he wanted to join the Browns despite their struggles and tortured fans who have a low tolerance for brash quarterbacks with questionable character.

“Winning the game will take care of winning them over,” Mayfield said a day after the Browns drafted him. “But I did genuinely want to come here. This is a franchise that traditionally is great. They have a great history, and these fans deserve a team that has success and so you want to be the guy to lead that. That’s just human nature. You want to be that person. So for me being as competitive as I am, the bigger the challenge for me, I think the better.”

Mayfield has been trying to disprove comparisons to Manziel since the former Oklahoma quarterback was arrested on Feb. 25, 2017, and later pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of public intoxication, disorderly conduct and fleeing.

He obviously convinced the Browns he won’t be a headache off the field like Manziel, the 22nd overall pick in 2014 who partied his way out of the league after two seasons.

“My faith says that every man may deserve a second chance,” new Browns General Manager John Dorsey said Thursday. “Have you ever been 19 before? Have you ever been 20 before? Young men do certain things, and you know what? They learn from that.

“I like the guy. He is very mature. He is very smart. I bet you that we all learn from our mistakes. I have learned from my mistakes in the past, too. I am better today than I was a year ago. I have no problems with a young man being allowed to understand the mistakes he makes, and let’s move forward.”

Mayfield said he wouldn’t have become the top pick if he hadn’t made strides in maturity and humility. He said he’s “not blind” to the fact that some of his behavior suggests he’s anything but humble.

“I’ve made mistakes, but I’ve also learned from them,” Mayfield said. “Without those mistakes, later on down the road, I might have had slip-ups, but now I can learn from those and move forward.”

Mayfield, 23, doesn’t just need to learn from the arrest. He’s displayed a pattern of acting out. He planted an Oklahoma flag in the middle of the field at Ohio State and grabbed his crotch while directing expletives toward opponents at Kansas this past season.

He admitted his antics at Kansas were “absolutely over the top” and vowed to tone it down.

“There’s a fine line,” Mayfield said. “You need to be competitive, but a lot of that you can internalize and use that as motivation to drive you. You don’t have to show it all the time.

“I can use that for behind the scenes when nobody’s around, the film, the hours you put in. So stuff like that, in between the lines, I’ll be very competitive, but the other stuff, obviously, it can’t happen. I know that.”

But will it be easy for him to harness his fire?

“Absolutely. It’s an easy decision to make,” he said. “It’s a blessing to have the responsibility and be in this position. So, for me, it’s a simple choice to make the right decisions.”

Mayfield’s cockiness helped him walk-on and earn starting jobs at Texas Tech and Oklahoma. Despite lacking prototypical height — he’s 6-foot-⅝ and 215 pounds — he’s the first walk-on to ever become the No. 1 pick in the common era draft, which began in 1967, per to ESPN Stats and Information.

“[One of the] characteristics that a young man must have to come here to play quarterback is you must have some inner strength. This man has that,” Browns coach Hue Jackson said Thursday. “As you look back through his history, he has had to earn and fight through every situation to be where he is today.”

Mayfield agreed he possesses mental toughness and the ability to overcome adversity.

“You talk about the journey that I’ve had, and it hasn’t been the easiest one, but it definitely helped me out,” Mayfield said. “There’s been a lot of blessings in disguise that have come with it.”

Even though Mayfield has reached the summit as the No. 1 pick, he promised not to become complacent. He wants to prove he’s better than the other top-rated quarterbacks in this class: Southern California’s Sam Darnold (No. 3 overall, New York Jets), Wyoming’s Josh Allen (No. 7, Buffalo Bills) and UCLA’s Josh Rosen (No. 10, Arizona Cardinals).

“They’re all very talented guys. There’s a reason that they were all in the discussion to be picked No. 1 overall,” Mayfield said. “But, for me, I do view it as a competition, but it doesn’t just end there. My journey is just now starting. I’m not satisfied. I haven’t played a down yet. So moving forward, you set big goals in the future, but you’ve got to work and accomplish small ones along the way.”

Mayfield’s first mission, should he choose to accept it, is to learn as much as he can from veteran quarterbacks Tyrod Taylor and Drew Stanton. Dorsey and Jackson have declared Taylor the starter heading into the regular season, which will open Sept. 9 at home against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“It will be a great thing for me,” Mayfield said. “The best thing [to happen to me] at Oklahoma was sitting for a year after I transferred [from Texas Tech].

“Learning from a guy that’s been in the league, that’s seen defenses, that’s had to go through the process, I’ve never done it before, so I can’t say that I know how it’s done. So I can learn from a guy like Tyrod and a guy like Drew Stanton.”

Cornerback Denzel Ward, a cornerback from Ohio State and a Nordonia High School graduate whom the Browns drafted fourth overall on Thursday night, envisions Cleveland sports fans falling in love with Mayfield.

“He’s a competitor. He loves to win,” Ward said. “So once we start winning, then of course they’ll embrace him.”

Nate Ulrich can be reached at nulrich@thebeaconjournal.com. Read the Browns blog at www.ohio.com/browns. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/NateUlrichABJ and on Facebook www.facebook.com/abj.sports.