File this under the worst-kept-secret category: Rookie No. 1 overall draft pick Baker Mayfield is a lock to be named the starting quarterback of the Browns.
It's a no-brainer decision, but coach Hue Jackson explained Friday he wouldn't announce his call on how the Browns will proceed at quarterback until after he gets a chance to meet with his players on Monday morning.
Jackson has given them the weekend off to bask in the glory of their 21-17 win over the New York Jets on "Thursday Night Football," and he doesn't want to publicly disclose his plan out of respect for those involved, especially Tyrod Taylor, the starting quarterback the first three games and a team captain.
"Until I'm able to talk to the players will I officially say where I am with that," Jackson said during a conference call. "... We're all going to know soon enough on Monday."
Mayfield is set to become the 30th quarterback to start for the Browns (1-1-1) since 1999 when they visit the Oakland Raiders (0-2) on Sept. 30. If all goes well, he'll finally halt the quarterback carousel that has haunted the franchise throughout its expansion era.
After Taylor suffered a concussion, Mayfield came off the bench with 1:42 left in the second quarter, sparked a rally with his team trailing by 14 points and led the Browns to their first victory since Dec. 24, 2016. They ended a 19-game winless streak as Mayfield electrified FirstEnergy Stadium in front of a national television audience in prime time.
"It was as good as I thought live," Jackson said of Mayfield's regular-season NFL debut. "He made some tremendous throws, obviously was able to move the team, played with a rhythm, got the ball into the playmakers' hands and gave them chances to make plays."
Asked which one of Mayfield's throws was his favorite, Jackson said, "I had quite a few of them, too many to talk about."
The Browns had been shut out by the Jets (1-2) until Mayfield took control.
"There were some adjustments that we made on the sideline to fix some things we weren't doing correctly, and we were able to work those things out," Jackson said. "That's unfair because that's some of the things Tyrod had to deal with, but obviously that's football."
Mayfield finished 17-of-23 passing (73.9 percent) for 201 yards with a rating of 100.1 and took one sack. At least a couple of his passes were dropped.
Jackson and General Manager John Dorsey had planned to enter this season with Taylor as the starter since the Browns traded a third-round pick (No. 65 overall) to the Buffalo Bills for him in March. But Taylor, for the most part, struggled in his three starts, going 41-of-84 passing (48.8 percent) for 462 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions for a rating of 63.7, taking 13 sacks and rushing for 125 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries (7.8 average).
He went 4-of-14 passing (28.5 percent) for just 19 yards with a rating of 39.6, rushed four times for 22 yards and took three sacks against the Jets. He left the game for good after being sacked by linebacker Avery Williamson with 2:55 remaining in the first half.
Taylor suffered his third documented concussion in 13 months. As the starting quarterback of the Bills, he had one in a wild-card playoff game Jan. 7 against the Jacksonville Jaguars and another in a preseason game Aug. 26, 2017, against the Baltimore Ravens.
"We'll work through all that," Jackson said. "I think the most important thing is let's see where he's at physically first and foremost."
Mayfield joined John Elway, Andrew Luck, Matthew Stafford and Jeff George as the only rookie quarterbacks taken first overall to appear in a 14-point comeback win, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Mayfield's outing was also remarkable because Jackson said the reigning Heisman Trophy winner hasn't taken "many reps with the ones at all" during practices since the regular season began. His only time with the starters in training camp and the preseason lasted two series when Taylor suffered a hand injury Aug. 23 in the third exhibition game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
"So that even makes it more impressive what he did last night," Jackson said. "It means he's doing the extra studying. It means he's really engaged offensively in what we're trying to do and how we're trying to do it and that he's starting to really grow through the process. I think he showed that."
And he's on the verge of being able to show much more.
Nate Ulrich can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read his Browns coverage at www.ohio.com/browns. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ByNateUlrich and on Facebook www.facebook.com/abj.sports.