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NFL Draft: If Baker Mayfield goes No. 1, a number of trades will go down

Baker Mayfield, Dolphins

As the start of the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft approaches on Thursday, the speculation and rumors around the league have hit an all-time high. The crop of talented quarterbacks available in this draft has a lot of teams working the phones to either move up or move down.

Although the consensus seems to be that Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen, Josh Rosen, and Lamar Jackson are the top quarterbacks in this draft, there’s no telling where any of them will land. It is not out of the realm of possibility that all of them are off the table before the halfway point of the first round with a number of trades potentially shaking things up.

Ahead of Thursday’s draft, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com talked about the possibility of Mayfield going No. 1 to the Cleveland Browns and the potential aftermath of trades that would follow.

“Potentially this could be down to Josh Rosen or Sam Darnold,” Rapoport said. “Sam Darnold was the name associated with the Jets a lot very early. Maybe that’s the one they stick with. Then it’s on to the trades. I know the Browns are open to dealing the No. 4 pick. I know the Broncos are open to dealing the No. 5 pick. Same with the Colts at six. You have to imagine that someone, maybe the Bills, and no they won’t sell the farm to get it, maybe they come up for someone like Josh Allen. A quarterback that a lot of people think the Bills have their eye on.

“Here’s another one, Andrew. What if, let’s say, Josh Allen, who spent a lot of time with John Elway in the pre-draft process, what if he gets there at five? Does Elway say, you know what, I’m just going to take a quarterback. A big strong-armed dude who’s kind of like me. I’m just going to take him there at five and not worry about any trades. There’s so many scenarios that it has actually kind of stopped trade talks at the back of the draft because no one knows what is going to happen in the top five.”

Needless to say, no one really knows what is going to happen once Cleveland is officially on the clock tonight. There’s been talk that the Browns have known who they’re going to draft for weeks, but even though it will almost certainly be a quarterback, the selection is not public knowledge with Mayfield, Allen, Darnold, and possibly even Rosen in the mix.

Along with the top pick in the draft, the Browns could get creative at No. 4 pick which makes things that much more intriguing.