With the Cleveland Browns still on the hunt to find a true franchise quarterback, they are wasting no time in getting to know some of the 2018 NFL Draft’s top prospects. According to The MMQB’s Robert Klemko, the Browns have already requested to meet with reigning Heisman Trophy winner and Oklahoma product Baker Mayfield, with Klemko noting it was “his first such invite” to meet with an NFL team in this nascent offseason.
However, the Browns will be but one of many potential suitors for Mayfield’s services this year—just as Mayfield will be but one of the quarterback prospects the Browns will meet with during the pre-draft process. The Browns, though, have the benefit of possessing the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft; thus, if Mayfield proves to be their top target, they will have no competition come April. It’s also possible for the Browns to snag him with the No. 4 spot.
Klemko believes that the Browns rank atop his 10 most-likely landing spots for Mayfield, writing that, “[Head coach Hue] Jackson values scheme above all, and he believes his scheme can beat any defense in football with the right brain on the field. Mayfield might just be that brain. He played for three different head coaches over his college career yet improved his production year over year without fail.” There is a worry about a potential personality clash; Klemko warns, “Having known Jackson for five years and met Mayfield for about five minutes, this armchair psychiatrist wonders if the two big, brash personalities could coexist with all that brutal honesty flying back and forth. My hunch is they’d either love each other, or kill each other.”
If the Browns choose to pass on Mayfield, Klemko believes the New York Jets, who pick sixth-overall, would be the next most likely team to draft him. The top five is rounded out with the Arizona Cardinals (No. 15), Miami Dolphins (No. 11) and the New Orleans Saints (No. 27). The potential head-butting between Mayfield and Jackson isn’t the only concern Klemko has about Mayfield’s NFL-readiness; he also wonders about Mayfield’s ability to adapt to an NFL offense, how his height will translate to on-field success and whether his personality is an asset or a liability.
Our Mike Krupka just took a look at all of these issues in his film breakdown of Mayfield, which you can find here. No matter what, expect the Browns to take close looks at numerous quarterbacks in this year’s draft class; however, it is quite telling that they have acted so quickly to make the first move of any team to spend one-on-one time with Mayfield.