2018 NFL Draft Rumors: 'Serious buzz' on Baker Mayfield No. 1 to Browns, 'definitely' in play
The No. 1 overall pick is still on the table and Mayfield is still a possibility
The Cleveland Browns probably know who they're taking No. 1 overall in the 2018 NFL Draft. Maybe. John Dorsey might know anyway, but everyone else is in the dark, waiting for the faint murmur of their decision to leak out of Cleveland. And there's a growing sense now that the Browns might very well be thinking about taking Baker Mayfield with the first overall pick.
Dustin Fox, of 92.3 the Fan and The Athletic Cleveland, joined the Pick Six Podcast Tuesday -- listen to the full interview below or subscribe via iTunes right here for 30 minutes of daily NFL talk -- to talk about what the Browns are going to do when they're on the clock come Thursday night. And Fox believes there is a legitimate chance that we could see the Browns go in the direction of Mayfield.
Discussing why he mocked Mayfield to the Browns in a recent The Athletic mock draft, Fox said he thinks Cleveland has "some interest in him" before adding that he heard this past weekend there's some "serious buzz" on Mayfield.
"Part of it is, I like Baker a lot. And part of it is, I think the Browns have some interest in him. I love Baker Mayfield, he's my favorite quarterback in this draft," Fox explained. "If the Browns draft him, [and] there's a chance they could. I'd heard over the weekend there's some serious buzz with Baker to the Browns. I heard last Thursday, it was down to Josh Allen and Baker Mayfield to the Browns, which is sort of surprising."
Giddy up! Fox isn't alone here in terms of hearing buzz about the Browns interest in Mayfield.
Adam Schefter of ESPN reported on Tuesday morning that Mayfield is "definitely" in the mix for the No. 1 overall pick with Cleveland.
And Dan Patrick reported on his radio show Monday that the Browns are deciding between Mayfield and Josh Allen with the top pick, that Sam Darnold isn't even in the conversation.
Here's the reality: John Dorsey is telling NO ONE what's happening. Certainly not in public.
And maybe not even in private. He might not actually know who he's going to take. Or he might know who he's planning to take but is leaving options open in case he changes his mind. It's impossible to feel concretely about any of these quarterbacks; you can love Mayfield, but you still have to have some questions about his size and his mental approach to the game.
Certainly, as Fox pointed out, there are fans in Cleveland who can be a bit concerned about whether or not Mayfield is Johnny Manziel 2.0. Fox doesn't believe he is.
"I think Baker is a hell of a player, he's polarizing. And some people don't like that, especially in Cleveland because of what happened with Johnny Manziel. And I think fans are sort of snakebitten because of what happened with Johnny and feel like the comparisons are so similar that they're scared of it," Fox continued. "I'll say this: there are some comparisons, but the ones that matter I don't think are there. They're so different on the field. They're not the same quarterback on tape. They're both very ... outgoing, confident guys who are a little bit short and white and play in a similar system and won the Heisman Trophy. But I think that's sort of where the comparisons start and stop."
This happens a lot with the draft -- in the 48 hours before the party starts there are always some kind of rumors at the top. Last year, there was some chatter about the Browns taking UNC quarterback Mitchell Trubisky No. 1 overall. Even when Andrew Luck was going first overall in 2012, the most clear-cut No. 1 pick in maybe 10 years, there was chatter about Robert Griffin III snaking him for the top pick.
So take it with a major grain of salt that Mayfield is in the conversation. But don't discount it: everyone is in the conversation at No. 1. There isn't a slam dunk here. Some people think it should be Darnold, and some think it will be Darnold. The same can be said for Allen and Mayfield. Mayfield is my top quarterback in this draft class and I'd pull the trigger No. 1 overall if I was running the Browns. (He said from the comfort of his leather recliner.)
Maybe it's just Bradley Chubb, which would throw this draft for a WILD ride. Expect a quarterback, but also be prepared to expect the unexpected.
Speaking of expectations, you can bank on a Pick Six Podcast every single day for the rest of the week, through the draft. All weekend long, so subscribe via your favorite method: via iTunes | via Stitcher | via TuneIn | via Google Play
And check out the interview with Fox below, where we cover:
1. What he would do if he's John Dorsey
2. The Mayfield buzz
3. If Sashi Brown deserves credit for the Browns' potential success
4. Whether the Browns can win more than six games in 2018 with their offseason additions
5. If David Njoku is set to break out next year
6. Thoughts on the Jarvis Landry contract
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