CLEVELAND — With December having arrived, it's not just the end of the year that is near, but also, the end of the decade. And what a decade it's been for the Cleveland Browns.
In order to celebrate the 2010s, we're enlisting in your help to compile the Browns' All-Decade Team. Each day, we'll release a poll on Twitter asking you to vote for a particular position, in addition to sharing the previous day's result.
On Monday, you voted Baker Mayfield the quarterback of the Browns' All-Decade Team for the 2010s. Below, you can vote for the team's running back.
In many ways, the Browns' journey through the 2010s has been defined by its (often failing) search for a franchise quarterback. But as Cleveland prepares to enter the 2020s, it appears it may have finally found a solution to the problem that's been plaguing it for three decades.
That Baker Mayfield was voted the Browns' quarterback of the decade after just two seasons hardly comes as a surprise and not just because he happens to be the franchise's current signal-caller. Even if his resume is currently less than two years long, Mayfield didn't have much competition for the honor following a decade in which the Browns saw two first-round picks (Brandon Weeden and Johnny Manziel) fail to make it to Year 3 with the team, as well as a plethora of journeymen and mid-round picks struggle to find success.
While selecting Mayfield with the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft was a polarizing decision, it didn't take long to see there was something different about the former Heisman Trophy winner. After a strong preseason, Mayfield relieved an injured Tyrod Taylor in Week 3 of his rookie season, leading Cleveland to a come-from-behind victory over the New York Jets, which marked the Browns' first win since the 2016 season.
From there, Mayfield was off to the races, leading Cleveland to a 6-7 record as a starter and throwing for an NFL rookie record 27 touchdown passes. Entering 2019, the Oklahoma product was considered one of the best young quarterbacks in football and after a sluggish start, he's bounced back to complete 60 percent of his passes for 2,917 yards, 15 touchdowns and 14 interceptions through the Browns' first 12 games.
Mayfield being named the Browns' All-Decade quarterback is as much about the team's optimism for the future as it is what he's already accomplished. Either way, it sure beats what Cleveland had experienced prior to his arrival.
Next up, the candidates for the Cleveland Browns' All-Decade Running Back:
Nick Chubb (2018-present)
Selected in the second round (35th overall) in the 2018 draft. Rushed for 996 yards and 8 touchdowns as a rookie despite starting just nine games. Currently leads the NFL with 1,175 rushing yards (and 7 touchdowns) through the first 12 games of the 2019 season.
Peyton Hillis (2010-11)
Acquired in a trade following the 2009 season that sent Brady Quinn to the Denver Broncos. Enjoyed a breakout season in 2010, in which he rushed for 1,177 yards and 11 touchdowns, while adding 477 receiving yards and 2 receiving scores. Was selected by a fan vote to be on the cover of the Madden NFL 12 video game.
Isaiah Crowell (2014-17)
Signed as an undrafted free agent in 2014. Served as the Browns' starting running back for parts of the 2014 and 2015 seasons and all 32 of the team's games from 2016-17. Left the Browns as a free agent in 2017 as the team's ninth all-time leading rusher with 3,118 yards and 21 touchdowns.
Trent Richardson (2012-13)
Selected with the third overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. Started 15 games as a rookie, rushing for 950 yards and a franchise rookie record 11 touchdowns, in addition to tallying 367 receiving yards and one receiving touchdown. Was traded to the Indianapolis Colts for a first-round pick two games into his second season with the team.