The Cleveland Browns have troubles of their own at the start of the 2022 NFL season but that doesn’t mean we can’t pay attention to more than one thing at a time. The NFL draft will forever be the lifeblood of almost every team. Even the Los Angeles Rams are struggling with depth and injuries after years of minimizing the importance of the draft.
It is why we often look at important college football games each week to note draftable players the Browns might be interested in. Same with covering mock drafts.
The trade of QB Baker Mayfield was one of two huge storylines for Cleveland this offseason. Unfortunately for both sides, no one is winning so far. The Carolina Panthers are 1-4 and just fired HC Matt Rhule. Not only that but Mayfield left their last game in a walking boot:
#Panthers QB Baker Mayfield suffered a high-ankle sprain in Sunday’s game, sources say. That means he’ll miss time, but how much will be determined by more tests and opinions. PJ Walker in line to start at QB this week vs. the #Rams.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 10, 2022
Based on how he pushed to play last year during his shoulder injury, it is likely that Mayfield will try to get on the field as quickly as he can.
For the Browns, Mayfield’s injury could impact the compensation they get from the Panthers. Based on the details of the trade, Cleveland’s former top pick must play in 70% of Carolina’s offensive snaps this season for the Panthers to send a fourth-round pick in 2024 to the Browns. If he misses a few games and fails to hit that mark, Cleveland gets a fifth-round selection.
Something to watch in Carolina as Steve Wilks takes over as head coach and Mayfield works through his injury. If the Browns don’t turn things around quickly, the NFL draft positioning will become the focus for the rest of the season. A position many hoped the team was past but fans are all too familiar with.