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Browns head coach Hue Jackson gloats about Baker Mayfield

The Cleveland Browns did what they could to keep the fate of the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft under wraps. However, recent reports suggest Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield’s name will be the first one called.

Although the writing may have been on the wall throughout the offseason, the news still comes as a bit of a surprise. According to ESPN’s Josina Anderson, head coach Hue Jackson nearly solidified that notion with some more praise on Thursday:

“He’s a bright-eyed guy, very passionate about football, can speak the language. He demonstrated the things that we are looking for in a quarterback,” Jackson said, who’s embedded this week at Browns headquarters in Berea.

Cleveland had been enamored with Mayfield’s skillset ever since the draft process started. Although they were not shy about voicing their praise for the former Heisman Trophy winner, it was still not enough to be taken seriously. Now, it appears as though their interest was indeed legitimate.

Mayfield has been dubbed by some as the biggest high-risk, high-reward players in the draft. His versatile skill set and competitive edge made him one of the most exciting players in college football. Unfortunately, his boisterous personality wound up drawing comparisons to infamous NFL busts like Ryan Leaf and Johnny Manziel.

However, it seems the Browns have not been scared off by all the criticisms of Mayfield. Given the current state of the franchise, the Browns could certainly use a spark under center. That said, it will be interesting to see if they actually follow through on the rumors or if it is just smoke and mirrors to help them accomplish another goal in this draft.