We’re over a week removed from the NFL Draft, and I am in process of working on my annual column reviewing the Cleveland Browns’ 2022 draft picks. In the mean time, Mike Sando of The Athletic posted his annual column in which he rounds up anonymous assessments of teams’ drafts for all 32 teams in the league. Unfortunately, even though the Browns drafted nine players this year, almost all of the discussion surrounding Cleveland was about their handling of QB Baker Mayfield.
The Replacement for Jarvis Landry
Although the door isn’t completely shut on a return to Cleveland for Jarvis Landry, the only draft selection that Sando got a quote on was WR David Bell. The executive he talked to sees Bell as the replacement for Landry’s role, which would presumably mean that Cleveland wouldn’t have a need to bring the veteran receiver back at this point:
“Bell can play that Landry role — good hands, smart, dependable, but not fast and just not explosive, not going to create on his own.”
Thoughts on Baker Mayfield
The rest of the notes from executives was about Baker Mayfield. Unlike the 49ers’ situation with Jimmy Garoppolo, one executive thinks the team is risking Mayfield being on the roster impacting the vibe of the locker room:
“If Baker had the mindset of a Jimmy Garoppolo, you could keep him around, but with a guy like Baker you are one podcast away from throwing a wrench into the whole vibe of the locker room. They need to cut their losses and move on, but how? When?”
Another executive was curious how things unfolded between the Browns and Panthers during the draft — and despite what the Seahawks have said, they still think it makes sense for them to work on some type of deal for Baker:
“I’m curious how negotiations between Cleveland and Carolina went regarding a Mayfield trade,” an exec said. “It looked like Carolina got fed up and said, ‘I’ll show you, I’m going to draft Matt Corral right now.’ If I were Seattle, I would take a 2023 pick from Cleveland to eat some of Baker’s salary, but I’m not sure how eager I’d be to do that if I were Cleveland — they need the picks after giving up so much for Watson.”
Sadly, that’s all the information we got this year — nothing much about our new talent.