CLEVELAND — After a record-breaking rookie season, Baker Mayfield seemed to take a step backward in 2019.
His rating in the Madden 21 video game reflects as much.
After entering last year's edition of the popular video game franchise as an 83 overall, the 2018 No. 1 overall pick will start this year's installment as a 78. The highest rating a player can hold in the game is a 99 -- a distinction held by five players in this year's game (Michael Thomas, Stephon Gilmore, Aaron Donald, Christian McCaffrey and Patrick Mahomes).
While Mayfield's Madden rating to start last season reflected his seemingly promising outlook for the 2019 campaign, it soon slid. With Madden updating its ratings on a weekly basis, Mayfield finished the season as a 76 overall as he compiled the second-most interceptions in the NFL with 21.
Speaking to reporters during a Zoom call earlier this offseason, Mayfield acknowledged the need to bounce back from his lackluster 2019 campaign.
"There's no doubt Year 3 is always a big year in these contracts timing-wise, everybody knows that," Mayfield said. "I'm not putting added pressure on myself. If we win, things will take care of themselves."
Mayfield's Madden rating, while lower than last year, still suggests he's viewed as a quarterback with plenty of upside. Perhaps most telling, his throw power rating still sits at a 93 -- the third-highest in the game -- an encouraging sign for his ability to connect with downfield with a collection of skill players ESPN has rated as the second-best in the entire league.