The Cleveland Browns have been on the clock for months, but we’re no closer to knowing who the number one pick will be on Thursday night. To this point, we have heard Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield, and Josh Allen have each been linked to the team, with Darnold pulling ahead in most projections over the last couple weeks. Darnold feels safer, and he may end up having the lowest downside of all.
On Wednesday though, the Plain Dealer’s Mary Kay Cabot shocked the draft world, reporting the team has narrowed their choice between Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen. She added the Browns have “cooled” on Darnold, per her sources.
For what it’s worth, NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein believes Mayfield will not have a long wait on draft night. Here’s a blurb from his latest on Mayfield:
Is the Oklahoma QB going first to the Browns? I wouldn’t be shocked if that happens, as Browns GM John Dorsey has stated that accuracy and winning games is important to him -- Mayfield gets check marks in both categories.
There are endless opinions who the top quarterback will be from the 2018 draft class, mainly because each are so compelling but also flawed in some ways. That won’t change even after the Browns make their selection, as this will most likely be an on-going debate that’ll rage until we see them all on the field.
So where’s the truth? It’s hard to say, but it’s harder to believe the Browns have not made their decision with just a little over 24 hours left before the draft. If John Dorsey and his staff are still “weighing” between Allen and Mayfield, I’d say something is wrong in their processes. But it doesn’t sound like that’s the case, as their plans seem to be codified, according to ESPN’s Josina Anderson, who was with the front office in Berea, Ohio, today.
#Browns GM John Dorsey to me within the hour on if they've settled on the #1 pick: "We've had really good discussions & that starts with the personnel staff...the coaching staff, the head coach & ownership. I think we are in alignment. Everybody understands what's going on here."— Josina Anderson (@JosinaAnderson) April 25, 2018
Everyone understands what’s going on here.
That phrase doesn’t leave much room for uncertainty. The takeaway here seems to be the complete absence of Josh Rosen’s name along with Darnold having—at some point, at least, although maybe not today—fallen out of Browns management’s favor.
If nothing else, the Browns are keeping us on our toes in the final moments before the world learns their decision.