For weeks, we’ve heard that the Browns will select either USC’s Sam Darnold or Wyoming’s Josh Allen with the No. 1 overall pick. Reportedly, it’s more than a two-horse race. Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield is “definitely” in Cleveland’s conversation to become the top choice, an NFL executive tells Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter).
It’s a little hard to parse out what news is real this time of year. But, taken at face value, it sounds like there could be a split of opinions within the Cleveland front office. None of this year’s quarterback prospects are considered to be slam dunks, so it’s possible that the Browns are wavering on which signal caller to take.
It’s also possible that the Browns are working to give the impression that they could take Mayfield or even one of this year’s non-QBs at No. 1 overall. If the Browns can give at least one team the impression they are going to select Mayfield, it could open the door to a trade-down scenario for Cleveland. The Jets, for example, are said to be high on Mayfield, and it is conceivable that they could make another move up in this year’s draft order to land him. The Bills, armed with the Nos. 12 and 22 picks in the first round, are also in the market for a QB but are likely out of range for this year’s top four signal callers.
Publicly, GM John Dorsey has indicated that he is not concerned about Mayfield’s lack of size, which has been the main knock on him from evaluators.
“The only thing I care about is, do guys win?” Dorsey said. “Does he have accuracy? Does he have a strong arm? Can he throw the ball in the red zone in tight windows? Can he drive the ball? At the end of the game, does he win? That’s what I look for.”
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.