Baker Mayfield reportedly aced his combine interviews, 'alleviated character concerns'
Could the Oklahoma star be the first quarterback drafted?
Here's how the Browns began their combine interview with Baker Mayfield. Before the formal introductions, general manager John Dorsey straight-up asked the Heisman Trophy winner, "So you like food trucks?"
TheMMQB.com's Robert Klemko unearthed this nugget in his recent story on Mayfield's combine experience and the significance of Dorsey's words is that Mayfield was arrested in February 2017 in Fayetteville, Arkansas, after an altercation that took place near a line of food trucks. And he has repeatedly had to answer questions about the incident because teams want to know if he's an immature knucklehead or 22-year-old who has learned from the experience.
But three offensive coaches who interviewed Mayfield at the combine told Cleveland.com's Mary Kay Cabot that despite questions about arrests and food trucks, the former Oklahoma quarterback "nailed the interviews and alleviated character concerns."
One said Mayfield came across as a player who's had to to fight and scrap for everything he has, including walking on at both Texas Tech and Oklahoma. Another said he was 'very good, outgoing, easy to talk to and displayed the qualities of a leader.''
And concerns about Mayfield, who has drawn comparisons to Johnny Manziel, being aloof were also assuaged.
"He came off really well," a third coach told Cabot. "Not arrogant at all. I like him."
Cleveland, as is almost always the case this time of year, is in the market for a franchise quarterback. And after passing on Carson Wentz and Deshaun Watson in 2016 and 2017, there's no way they don't draft a quarterback this time around. The Browns have the first and fourth picks in the draft, which means there's no one between them and "their guy." All that's left is to identify who that guy is.
Dorsey, who was hired in December, seems determined to take a quarterback in the first round. At the Senior Bowl, he said Mayfield's off-field issues were blown out of proportion.
"Are there character concerns about him?'' Dorsey asked Cabot. "You guys create a narrative that you try to portray him as one.''
And despite Dorsey's "So you like food trucks?" introduction, Mayfield's interview reportedly went well. Put another way: The Browns don't scare easily. Former Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan was hired by the team as a draft consultant, and back in February, Cabot noted that McCloughan publicly praised Mayfield before joining the Browns, telling the Doug Gottlieb Show in October that Mayfield was his top quarterback in this year's class. But McCloughan, who was once a scout with the Packers, wasn't done.
"He reminds me of a shorter version of Brett Favre," he continued. "Tough guy. He can throw it. And he's very confident, and he's not afraid whatsoever, whatsoever. He's a battler. I know saying Brett Favre's a big name, and I was around him for a while, but this guy has talent."
In our first mock draft, we had the Browns taking Mayfield first overall for this very reason though in subsequent versions we've had them select Sam Darnold. Whether it's Mayfield, Darnold or someone else, this much is a near certainty: Cleveland isn't passing on a quarterback in Round 1.
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