The Browns traded for Tyrod Taylor before they drafted Baker Mayfield No. 1 overall, so it's understandable that they entered the summer thinking that Taylor was their unquestioned starting quarterback. But after two impressive preseason performances by Mayfield, it's officially time to wonder if the Browns would be better off in the long term by starting him immediately. 

And by that I mean, it's officially time for everyone except the Browns to wonder if Mayfield should get a crack at the starting job. 

On Monday, when reporters asked coach Hue Jackson if he'll give Mayfield the chance to take some reps with the first-team offense during the preseason, Jackson emphatically shot down the notion.

"No, no, no, no, no," Jackson said, per "Everybody's asked me that a ton of times. Why? I'm going to tell you the reason why. We are learning a new system, and I think Tyrod needs every rep that he can get with the ones.

"I think Baker's doing outstanding with the twos. If something happens and we need to put him there, we will. Right now, that hasn't happened."

So, that should end the idea that the Browns would at least open up a competition between Taylor and Mayfield. They appear to be holding firm in their belief that there's nothing Mayfield can do to steal the starting job. If they won't budge after Mayfield just went 18 of 33 for 287 yards, two touchdowns, no picks, and a 104.0 passer rating in two preseason games -- demonstrating NFL-caliber traits like footwork, working a pocket, and keeping his eyes upfield in the process -- it's difficult to see them budging at all this summer.

To a degree, starting Taylor makes sense. He's been a solid NFL quarterback for a few seasons now and he just took the Buffalo Bills to the playoffs. The Browns have won one game over the past two seasons. It's understandable that they're craving some immediate success and it's Taylor -- not a rookie -- who gives them the best chance to be competitive in the short term. Taylor is the better quarterback right now. Like Mayfield, he's been good in the preseason. There's no denying that. And it'll be easier for the Browns to go from Taylor to Mayfield during the season rather than the other way around. The Browns don't want to have to be in a situation where they're benching Mayfield early on during his rookie season.

But it's Mayfield who is the team's future franchise quarterback. Taylor is nothing more than a bridge to Mayfield. So if Mayfield is ready now, doesn't it make sense for the Browns to accelerate the process? In other words, why delay the inevitable? He's going to be forced to endure growing pains at some point. Why not get it over with in 2018 so he's ready to roll in 2019?

The other thing here is, what does it say about the Browns that they're even unwilling to have an open competition? After the preseason opener, Browns receiver Jarvis Landry told CBS Sports' Pete Prisco that they "promote healthy competition. The best guys are going to play. As simple as that." On Monday, Jackson pretty much said the exact opposite. 

Meanwhile, shortly after Jackson emphatically denied Mayfield the chance to take first-team reps, the Bills announced that rookie quarterback Josh Allen will start their third preseason game, giving him an opportunity to win the starting job after he's looked solid in two preseason outings.