Browns’ Baker Mayfield was top QB for at least six other teams
It has been a few days since the Cleveland Browns decided to take former Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield with the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. There had been a growing public consensus that the Browns would head in another direction choosing between either USC’s Sam Darnold or Wyoming’s Josh Allen.
Instead, the team decided to roll with the 2017 Heisman Trophy winner as the first player off the board last week. According to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com, there were several other teams that also had Mayfield as the top-rated quarterback in the NFL Draft.
Those three, along with former Packers and current Browns personnel exec Alonzo Highsmith, all reached the same conclusion: that Mayfield was the best quarterback in the rich 2018 class.
But they weren’t the only ones. Of the 12 teams I’ve heard back from so far, four had Baker as their QB1, and two more gave me a strong indication that he was. Another league source named two other teams that he believes had him No. 1.
Of the four ‘definites,’ that I spoke directly with, three were in the AFC and one was in the NFC.
Although these teams have not been named publicly, there were some strong indications that the New York Jets were leaning toward taking Mayfield had he been available at the third overall pick. On top of that, it was believed that their move up from the sixth overall spot to the third pick was based primarily on being able to snag the Oklahoma product.
Meanwhile, the lone NFC team sounds like it could have been the Los Angeles Rams as there was a time earlier this offseason where head coach Sean McVay spoke extremely highly of Mayfield.
I’ll never forget a few months ago standing with McVay as he passionately told Baker if he didn’t have his “ride or die” in Goff, he would’ve done whatever it took to convince Rams to get him. It didn’t feel like hyperbole. That was first inclination Baker would climb very high.
— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) April 27, 2018
All of this makes it quite clear that not just the Browns but several other teams were extremely high on the 23-year-old. His behavioral antics at times aside, Mayfield has shown plenty of potential with his ability on the field as an accurate passer and a strong decision maker with his throws. He now has an opportunity in front of him to become the next franchise quarterback in Cleveland and prove that he is worthy of being the first overall pick.