Week 1 of the NFL Preseason is officially here! I don’t really count the NFL Hall of Fame Game as any part of the preseason, which makes the beginning of the preseason tonight. Here is tonight’s slate of games (via NFL.com):
Let me point out that the NFL did something extremely smart for tonight. The Cleveland Browns are playing the New York Giants at 7 p.m. at MetLife Stadium. It’s the first pick vs. the second pick. It’s Baker Mayfield vs. Saquon Barkley. It’s a MUST-WATCH preseason game.
I’m assuming that Saquon Barkley will only play for one or two drives, but I’m still ecstatic to see it. The guy is absolutely electric, and he’s going to easily be a top-five running back in the league.
Saquon Barkley’s signature run in college, a 79-yard TD in the Rose Bowl against #USC. Maybe most impressive is how he outruns Adoree Jackson twice. Chris Godwin’s block at the end helped, too. #PennState #Giants pic.twitter.com/4YA4MU8t8b
— Matt Lombardo (@MattLombardoNFL) May 1, 2018
That run in the Rose Bowl vs. USC was these second best run I’ve ever seen behind Marshawn Lynch’s beast-quake vs. the Saints in the 2011 NFL Playoffs.
Baker Mayfield is expected to play approximately two quarters in this game. Mayfield likely won’t be the starter for Week 1 of the regular season unless Tyrod Taylor gets hurt, which explains why he’s going to get so much playing time in this game. Baker, the 2017 Heisman Trophy winner, is another human highlight reel who had 4627 yards with 43 TDs and only 6 INTs with the Oklahoma Sooners last season.
Baker Mayfield was slingin' it!
598 yards (Oklahoma single-game record)
5 TD pic.twitter.com/P1AcF2uVh4
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) November 5, 2017
Let this be a message to the NFL on behalf of all the fans. The first and second pick of the NFL Draft facing off against each other in the first week of the preseason is a genius idea, and needs to happen every year from now on. Very few people care about the preseason, but I guarantee that this game will draw the highest ratings from any preseason game in years. I considered actually heading to MetLife Stadium tonight for the game. It’s going to be a ton of fun to watch.
In honor of this matchup, let’s look back at the first two picks of the NFL Draft for the past 10 years:
2018: Baker Mayfield & Saquon Barkley
2017: Myles Garrett & Mitchell Trubisky
2016: Jared Goff & Carson Wentz
2015: Jameis Winston & Marcus Mariota
2014: Jadeveon Clowney & Greg Robinson
2013: Eric Fisher & Luke Joeckel
2012: Andrew Luck & Robert Griffin III
2011: Cam Newton & Von Miller
2010: Sam Bradford & Ndamukong Suh
2009: Matthew Stafford & Jason Smith