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Cleveland Browns NFL Draft Live Blog (1st Round) - Rumors, Picks, and More

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All the latest news, rumors, and nuggets you need to know on Day 1 of the 2018 NFL Draft for the Cleveland Browns.

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NFL: NFL Draft Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

[OUR FRIDAY LIVE BLOG FOR DAY 2 OF THE NFL DRAFT IS HERE]

The 2018 NFL Draft officially begins for the Cleveland Browns and the rest of the teams in the NFL at 8:00 PM ET. This is a continuation of the LIVE BLOG we’ve been running all day up until this point. Now that we are less than an hour away from things kicking off, it is fitting to start fresh with our live blog. You should also use the comments section as your NFL Draft open thread! (Newest updates will be at the top of the live blog below)

NOTE: Do not spoil picks before they are announced by Roger Goodell. If you do, you risk a temporary banning.

Browns NFL Draft Live Blog


11:43 PM: Thank you to everyone who tuned in to our Day 1 live blogs! They have concluded for the night, but we have a full Day 1 recap post that you can now continue discussion in throughout the night. We will be back at some point Friday morning with Day 2 of our Browns live blog, so be sure to come back to Dawgs By Nature early and often!


11:35 PM: And the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft is officially in the books with the Philadelphia Eagles trading out of No. 32 overall with the Baltimore Ravens. With the final pick of the first round, the Baltimore Ravens took QB Lamar Jackson! Wow. We will share a link to our Day 1 recap post for the Browns shortly.


11:27 PM: The Patriots at No. 31 selected RB Sony Michel, who was another candidate for the Browns at the start of the second round. The Eagles are on the clock for the final pick of the first round.


11:22 PM: With the 30th pick, the Minnesota Vikings selected CB Mike Hughes. The Patriots are up next.


11:19 PM: At No. 29, the Jacksonville Jaguars took DT Taven Bryan. The three remaining picks coming up are the Vikings at No. 30, Patriots at No. 31, and Eagles at No. 32. We know the Eagles would rather just trade out from No. 32, but absolutely no need for Cleveland to move up at this point since they can sit and think about two very valuable picks to kick off Friday.


11:15 PM: An emotional moment for the first round, as Ryan Shazier came out on stage to announce the Pittsburgh Steelers’ pick at No. 28 overall. The Steelers selected S Terrell Edmunds, and his brother was selected earlier in the round. The pick itself was very surprised, as he was expected to be a third-round pick.


11:10 PM: Oh -- well, here is some Browns news. Per Mike Silver of the NFL Network, the Browns “loved” RB Rashaad Penny and were considering him at No. 33 overall. Thanks for telling him, Hue.


11:06 PM: We are past the 11 o’clock hour now, and the Seattle Seahawks drafted RB Rashaad Penny at No. 26. You just know that the Seahawks will always be the one team that doesn’t give a shit about where they take someone, and sure enough, Penny had a 2nd to 3rd round grade. The Steelers are up next.


10:58 PM: The Atlanta Falcons took WR Calvin Ridley at No. 26. The Seattle Seahawks are on the clock at No. 27, followed by our hated Pittsburgh Steelers.


10:53 PM: The Baltimore Ravens selected TE Hayden Hurst at No. 25. The Atlanta Falcons are on the clock next at No. 26. By the way, for some inside site news, I am busy writing the Browns’ Day 1 recap post in between all these picks. It will be up as soon as the first round is completed.


10:48 PM: With the 24th pick, the Panthers did take the first wide receiver and it was D.J. Moore. The Ravens are up next at No. 25.


10:38 PM: At No. 23, it was no Lamar Jackson for the Patriots. Instead, they went with OT Isaiah Wynn, their replacement for LT Nate Solder. Up next at No. 24 will be the Carolina Panthers. Could the first receiver be off the board to them?


10:30 PM: With the 22nd pick, the Tennessee Titans traded up (swapping with the Ravens back to No. 25) to select LB Rashaan Evans.


10:25 PM: With the 21st pick, the Cincinnati Bengals pulled the trigger and took C Billy Price of Ohio State. Another Buckeye stays in-state. The Baltimore Ravens are up next at No. 22, followed by the New England Patriots at No. 23. I’ll be really interested in seeing if either goes with QB Lamar Jackson.


10:21 PM: At No. 20, the Detroit Lions took C Frank Ragnow, who I didn’t expect to go anywhere in the first round (and not before C Billy Price). Ian Rapoport claims they made it one spot before the Bengals were about to take him.


10:15 PM: With the 19th pick, the HOMETOWN Dallas Cowboys selected ILB Leighton Vander Esch, drawing (not boos) but kind of a pedestrian reaction from the crowd. I think they were waiting to erupt for a wide receiver. In other news, the Pittsburgh Steelers pulled off a trade with the Oakland Raiders, shipping WR Martavis Bryant to them for a third round pick:


10:04 PM: The Seattle Seahawks did indeed trade back, but it was with the Green Bay Packers, who moved right back up to No. 18 after trading with the Saints. The Packers took CB Jaire Alexander. As we get to the end of the tonight and tomorrow morning, we’ll update our DBN Big Board with the best available prospects.


10:02 PM: Here is the phone call from the Browns’ perspective when they told QB Baker Mayfield they were turning the card in for him at No. 1 overall.


9:56 PM: With the 17th pick, the Los Angeles Chargers took S Derwin James. The Seattle Seahawks are on the clock now. We’ll see if any trade down occurs.


9:52 PM: Just released, we have t-shirts celebrating the selection of QB Baker Mayfield! Get them now.


9:50 PM: Let’s catch up on a few things. At No. 15, the Oakland Raiders took OT Kolton Miller. Then at No. 16, the Baltimore Ravens traded back, swapping with the Buffalo Bills, who moved up for the second time on Thursday. The Bills selected LB Tremaine Edmunds. The Los Angeles Chargers are on the clock next at No. 17.


9:45 PM: A couple of nuggets with this update. First, Adam Schefter is stressing that the Seattle Seahawks (who are at No. 18) and the Detroit Lions (who are at No. 20) are looking to move back. It was rumored earlier in the day that Cleveland might consider moving up to one of those spots. The other nugget? Here is QB Baker Mayfield wearing a Cleveland Browns hat:


9:38 PM: The Saints traded No. 27 and a 2019 first-round pick to move up to No. 14. With that pick, New Orleans grabbed QB Lamar Jackson...DE Marcus Davenport? I’m sorry, but how do you give up a future first-rounder for a non-quarterback? Wow. The Raiders are back on the clock next at No. 15.


9:35 PM: QB Baker Mayfield will reportedly be throwing out the first pitch at Friday’s Cleveland Indians game. Presumable, CB Denzel Ward will be there as well.


9:31 PM: With the 13th pick, the Washington Redskins took DT Da’Ron Payne. I originally had them pegged for Vea before the Bucs snatched him. Up next are the Green Bay Packers at No. 14 (scratch that) — wait, the New Orleans Saints have moved up to No. 14! That’s a big leap after having previously been at No. 27.


9:26 PM: With the 12th pick, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers took DT Vita Vea. Up next are the Washington Redskins at No. 13.

Unrelated, the selection of CB Denzel Ward at No. 4 by the Browns should intensify the believe all-the-more that Cleveland will be shopping CB Jamar Taylor on Day 2 or Day 3.


9:22 PM: Here was the moment that QB Baker Mayfield learned he would be a Cleveland Brown. Note: he was actually streaming this live on Instagram, so about 3-4 minutes before the pick was “officially” announced by Roger Goodell, people saw Mayfield picking up his phone on Instagram and figured it meant the Browns had called him:


9:18 PM: So, one of the biggest fallers ended up being CB Minkah Fitzpatrick, who was drafted by the Miami Dolphins at No. 11. The Buccaneers are back on the clock at No. 12.


9:10 PM: The Arizona Cardinals moved up to No. 10, swapping with the Oakland Raiders, who head back to No. 15. With the tenth pick, the Cardinals selected QB Josh Rosen.


9:05 PM: A couple of quick notes. First, Hue Jackson and John Dorsey are talking about their top two picks in Berea right now, so we’ll have some highlights on that in a bit. Second, the San Francisco 49ers’ pick at No. 9 is in, and it’s OT Mike McGlinchey. Remember that Cleveland was rumored to have had some level of interest in trading up for him if he was still available past the half-way point of the first round.


9:01 PM: At No. 8, the Chicago Bears selected LB Roquan Smith.


9:00 PM: Here is what Pro Football Focus said about CB Denzel Ward, who was the ninth player on their big board:

  • Allowed an NFL passer rating of 52.9 when targeted in 2017, with two interceptions and 12 pass breakups from 57 targets.
  • Allowed 35.1% of passes thrown his way to be caught, one of the best marks in the nation.

8:57 PM: Here is what Pro Football Focus said about QB Baker Mayfield, who was the top player on their big board (Sashi Brown would be mighty proud):

  • Ranked first among quarterbacks in passer rating from a clean pocket in 2017 (143.8).
  • Overall season grade led the draft class in each of the past three seasons.
  • Had the top passer rating on passes under pressure (111.6), with play action (154.3) and both on throws within 2.5 seconds (131.9) and 2.6 seconds or longer (139.1).

8:54 PM: The Buffalo Bills got to trade up to No. 7 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to draft their quarterback, making it a very wise decision that they didn’t risk more assets to bump up to No. 4 with the Browns originally. With that pick, Buffalo took QB Josh Allen. The reported compensation is that Buffalo only had to give up two second-round picks to move up five spots. They will keep their other first-rounder.


8:49 PM: At No. 6, the Indianapolis Colts drafted OG Quenton Nelson.


8:44 PM: Draft-day trades? Who needs them! We’re five picks in without a single trade yet, as DE Bradley Chubb was taken by the Denver Broncos at No. 5 overall.


8:42 PM: According to Pro Football Talk, the Browns were learning toward DE Bradley Chubb at No. 4 this morning, but something changed their mind to CB Denzel Ward.

And also, here is the Football Dave drawing for Ward:


8:36 PM: With the No. 4 pick of the 2018 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns selected CB Denzel Ward! Our full write-up is on him.


8:33 PM: Football Dave is doing his annual comic strip posts for each pick, and here is his one for QB Baker Mayfield to the Browns:


8:28 PM: And with the No. 3 pick, the New York Jets draft QB Sam Darnold. The Browns are back on the clock at No. 4. Buckle up. Trade or pick?


8:25 PM: If you want to get a jump start on learning about QB Baker Mayfield, remember that DBN’s Mike Krupka did an in-depth breakdown on him earlier this offseason.


8:22 PM: The New York Giants stayed put at No. 2 overall and selected RB Saquon Barkley. No quarterback for them — they go with the offensive playmaker. That certainly will heighten the trade interest for the Browns pick at No. 4 for whoever wants a quarterback.


8:15 PM: With the first pick of the 2018 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns selected QB Baker Mayfield. Our full post on the pick, as well as a poll for you to grade the selection, can be found here.


7:58 PM: A quick shot of the Browns’ war room on the NFL Network!


7:55 PM: On the NFL Network, Hue Jackson was just interviewed. Nothing was tipped; just general answers as expected and that “we’ll find out soon.” He did say, “the first pick will be the first pick, and then we’ll see after that.” Jackson did say that they will make the pick at 8:05 PM, which means they won’t wait too long.


7:42 PM: Per Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, a trade possibility could be heating up with the Denver Broncos moving to No. 2, and the New York Giants dropping to No. 5.


7:40 PM: Butterflies-in-the-stomach time! Will it be Baker Mayfield? Sam Darnold? SOMEONE ELSE? We’ll find out soon — the NFL Draft kicks off in 20 minutes, and we should know the pick within the next half hour.


7:27 PM: I haven’t taken much time to offer my own opinion in the live blogs today, so I’ll provide my first-round quick hitters:

  • Although I prefer Sam Darnold at No. 1 overall, I am fine with really any of the quarterbacks. My mentality is more sold on, “let’s commit to someone being the future of the franchise, and see where it takes us.” Because honestly, me staking such a definitive claim in one quarterback over the other is pretty much a stab in the dark.
  • I’d rather the team stay at No. 4 overall and take the best available player, whether that be RB Saquon Barkley, DE Bradley Chubb, CB Minkah Fitzpatrick, or CB Denzel Ward. For me to be OK with a trade down, I think Buffalo is the only team I’d do a deal with, and I’d only do it now for a ransom offer: both of their first-round picks this year, and their first-round pick next year (or in lieu of that 2019 pick, we get like all of their second- and third-round picks this year).
  • Word is the Browns could look to trade back up in the first round, sacrificing a few of their second-round picks. I’d live with that, but for the sake of entertainment, I’d rather stay put and be able to take all of Friday to have fun with debating which prospects the team should take at No. 33 and No. 35.

7:15 PM: I am telling you that Ezweav is insane. As you’ll see above, Ezweav is going to be covering the entire first round of the NFL Draft tonight on The DBN Network, which we have embedded above for your listening pleasure.


7:02 PM: Some stats from the poll we ran yesterday: 39% of you WANT the Browns to draft Sam Darnold, followed by 31% for Baker Mayfield, 18% for Josh Allen, 8% for Josh Rosen, and 5% for Lamar Jackson.

The other question is who you thought the Browns WOULD draft. 47% said Sam Darnold, 25% said Josh Allen, 25% said Baker Mayfield, 2% said Josh Rosen, and 2% said Lamar Jackson. Remember that almost all of these votes were cast prior to all of the rumors today that heated up about Mayfield. I’m sure we’d see Darnold and Mayfield flipped if a new poll were taken right now.


7:00 PM: You can quickly catch up on all of today’s live blog from before 7:00 PM right here. The Cleveland Browns have the No. 1 and No. 4 overall picks. Teams have 10 minutes to make their first-round picks. Last year, the announcement of DE Myles Garrett came in at about 8:14 PM, and the No. 4 overall pick came in about 8:33 PM.

Chris LaPlaca on Twitter