This week, ESPN’s Mike Sando gathered anonymous quotes from executives around the league about each team’s draft. Let’s take a look at what was said about the Cleveland Browns, starting with an executive.
“No F’ing way [regarding the realization that Cleveland would take Baker Mayfield at No. 1]. I came to grips with it the night before, but I didn’t fully come to grips with it until the card was turned in, and I was like, ‘My God, what is going on here?’ ... John [Dorsey] wants a leader of men,” this exec said. “He must have thought Baker was a leader of men. The time teams spend with quarterbacks one-on-one really is a big factor.”
Sando then quotes an insider as, two weeks before the draft, telling him, “if [a team] trusts Mayfield, then he would be No. 1 among quarterbacks.”
Other insiders seemed to disagree with the Browns’ decision to go with CB Denzel Ward over DE Bradley Chubb at No. 4 overall. It’s not a dig at Ward, but rather an analysis of Chubb’s ability and the importance of pass rushers vs. press cornerbacks.
“I know they are talking about the importance of a matchup corner, but if you now look at Denver with Chubb and the pass-rushers they have, it is crazy. I would much rather have pass-rushers than corners. You can find corners in a lot of places. They might not all be pure man-to-man matchup corners, but you can’t find pass-rushers.”
Another executive made kind of a weird comparison to CB Marcus Peters in my opinion, acting as if Cleveland could have had him if they wanted:
“The Browns took Ward, but I’m like the Rams in that I would rather have Marcus Peters, knowing I only have him for the next two years, even with some of the warts,” an insider said. “I like Denzel Ward, but he is as likely to be average as he is to go to a bunch of Pro Bowls. Peters has the potential to be a Hall of Fame talent based on his production so far.”
Meanwhile, an executive who absolutely loved QB Josh Allen for the Buffalo Bills decided to throw a random dig in at Mayfield while trying to defend Allen:
“[Allen] is aw-shucks, likes football, makes his team visits with sweats and tennis shoes -- perfect for Buffalo. They don’t need Baker Mayfield in f---ing designer clothes, OK? They need Jim Kelly.”