North Notes: Mayfield, Lions, Bengals, Browns

In an inbox piece, Mary Kay Cabot of informs that the Browns have not shut down the idea of taking Baker Mayfield with the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. But few reports have linked the team with drafting the reigning Heisman Trophy winner from Oklahoma.

Cabot notes that Pro Football Focus has ranked Mayfield as its top quarterback in the 2018 draft class and that her sources indicate the Jets are likely to take him at No. 3 if the Browns elect to pass on him at No. 1. She also reminds fans that Browns draft consultant Scot McCloughan entered the draft process extremely high on Mayfield.

While it appears the Browns haven’t closed the book on Mayfield, the likes of USC’s Sam Darnold and Wyoming’s Josh Allen could lead the team to go elsewhere with the first overall pick.

Here’s more from around the AFC/NFC North:

  • Kyle Meinke of MLive wonders if Matt Cassel might beat out Jake Rudock for the team’s backup quarterback job. The ties between Cassell, 35, and the Lions are fairly obvious, with new coach Matt Patricia. He was an assistant coach with the Patriots in 2008 when Cassel had arguably his best season as a pro, in place of the injured Tom Brady. The Lions took Rudock in the sixth round of the 2016 draft out of Michigan and he’s appeared in three games through two seasons, compared to 106 career appearances and 81 starts in Cassel’s career.
  • The Bengals didn’t have much trouble getting ahold of Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson to bring him in for a visit, per Jim Owczarski of the Cincinnati Enquirer, which had been a knock on the former Heisman Trophy winner. Owczarski also reports that the visit was merely due diligence in the hopes that Jackson may fall to them at No. 21.
  • Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal points to USC running back Ronald Jones as a potential fit for the Browns in the second round. It’s unlikely the Browns would get a crack at taking Penn State running back Saquon Barkley unless they select him with the No. 1 overall pick. Jones is viewed as a “clone” of veteran running back Jamaal Charles, who new general manager John Dorsey worked with during his four seasons as the general manager of the Chiefs. The Browns have three picks in the second round (Nos. 33, 35 and 64).
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