The Cleveland Browns have made the pick after months of speculation.
Cleveland drafted Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield with the first overall selection in the 2018 NFL Draft, the third quarterback in Browns franchise history to be selected #1 overall, joining Bobby Garrett and Tim Couch.
Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy in the 2017 college football season after throwing for 4,627 yards and 43 touchdowns while leading the Sooners to a Big 12 Championship and an appearance in the College Football Playoff.
Mayfield was scrutinized throughout the process for his height being only 6’0 and because of immaturity including a public intoxication arrest as well as grabbing his crotch on the sidelines against Kansas last season.
Some compared him to former Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel but those comparisons weren’t far to Mayfield as he’s far and away a better football player in terms of leadership, work ethic as well as production on the field as a college quarterback.
Mayfield will come in and while some think Tyrod Taylor is going to be the starter for the entire 2018 season, I don’t think that’ll be the case and I expect Mayfield to push Taylor throughout training camp and the preseason to be the starting quarterback.
Taylor may be the starting quarterback at the beginning of the season but I expect because of Mayfield’s competiveness and his abilities as a quarterback that if Taylor struggles early, Mayfield will replace him as the starter.
Browns general manager John Dorsey said he’s been set on this pick for the last six weeks despite all the speculation of Sam Darnold and Josh Allen.
We know that Dorsey watched multiple games of Mayfield’s in person as Dorsey was a free agent as a football executive during the 2017 season before being hired by Cleveland. Consultant Scot McCloughan said last November that Mayfield was the best quarterback in the draft and even compared him to Hall of Famer Brett Favre.
I was a Sam Darnold guy but Mayfield was my second rated quarterback and I like Mayfield’s game and think it’ll translate to the next level very well.
It’s not going to be a popular pick among the fan base but I think in a couple years, Mayfield will have convinced the fan base that he was the right selection.