After months of speculation about what the Browns would do with the first overall pick, the Cleveland Browns selected quarterback Baker Mayfield first overall in the 2018 NFL Draft.
The reigning Heisman Trophy winner threw for 4,627 passing yards, 43 touchdowns and six interceptions in 14 games for Oklahoma University in 2017. Mayfield’s 70.5 completion percentage led all of the FBS in that category. He also rushed for 311 yards and five touchdowns on 97 carries.
Mayfield’s best ability is his accuracy, and he can make every throw that an offensive coordinator will ask of him. He also has the athleticism to move out of a broken down pocket and still deliver accurate throws.
Mayfield is also known as a great leader that teammates will rally around. For a team like Cleveland, coming off a 1-31 record the last two seasons, the team needs a strong leader under center. There have also been reports about Mayfield that teams love his football IQ. He has impressed teams with his board work, which could have pushed Mayfield as the front runner for the first overall pick.
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For almost the entirety of the draft process, no one knew who Browns general manager John Dorsey would select first overall. Reports began to circulate this week that Mayfield was being heavily considered to be the first pick. Thursday morning, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the mounting belief from coaches and general managers is that Mayfield would be the pick.
It is expected that Mayfield will sit for a season behind Tyrod Taylor and Drew Stanton as he adjusts to the NFL and learns the Browns playbook. Mayfield and Taylor have similar playing styles, and Mayfield playing behind and learning from Taylor could be great for his development.
But with Mayfield’s competitive drive, it would not be a shock if Mayfield starts games at some point during the 2018 season, especially if Taylor struggles in Cleveland.