Going into the 2018 NFL Draft, many Cleveland Browns’ fans were very excited with the Browns’ position in the draft.
In a trade last season with the Houston Texans, Cleveland acquired their first round and second round picks. With their own picks and the two from Houston, Cleveland had four of the first 35 picks in the draft, including two picks in the top four.
With that kind of firepower in a draft, many people would think ,“How could you screw it up?”
But that is exactly what Cleveland did. They pulled a typical Cleveland Browns’ move and messed up all four picks they had.
All offseason, it was debated whether Cleveland would take USC QB Sam Darnold, Wyoming QB Josh Allen or the best player in the draft, Penn State RB Saquon Barkley.
For many people, it came down to these three guys as the first pick in the draft. But the Browns threw everyone a curveball on draft day.
With the first pick in the draft, Cleveland selected Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield, who was considered by many to be worth a mid-first round pick.
Cleveland chose the undersized quarterback, with troubles not only on the field but also off, over one of the most polished QB prospects USC has ever produced.
Mayfield, who is just six feet tall, is extremely short for the position. In recent history, we have only seen three significantly undersized QBs succeed in the NFL – Drew Brees, Russell Wilson and Michael Vick.
Mayfield doesn’t have the talent of any of these guys.
Not only is being undersized a big problem for Mayfield, but he has a long history of being a problem on and off the field – a characteristic nobody wants from their leader.
In early 2017, Mayfield was arrested in Arkansas after being in a loud altercation. He was charged with three crimes, all of which he eventually pled guilty to, including public intoxication, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
Mayfield has also had his problems on the field.
In one of the final games of the 2017 season, Mayfield was snubbed by Kansas Jayhawks’ captains at the pregame coin flip as they refused to shake his hand.
Oklahoma dominated Kansas throughout the game, and in the third quarter, when they were winning 28-3, Mayfield taunted the Jayhawks’ sideline by making a lewd gesture at them.
This ended up costing Mayfield in a big way as he was stripped of his captain status and did not start in his final college regular season game the next week.
This is a ton of baggage for someone you are literally betting the future of your NFL franchise on.
Mayfield doesn’t seem like the kind of player you would want to be the face of your franchise. He doesn’t seem like the guy you’d want representing or leading your team.
But apparently, he checked all the boxes for the Browns and they selected him before any other player in the draft.
If Mayfield doesn’t pan out, which is a good chance, Cleveland will be set back another 5 years in the rebuilding process.
A 5-year setback is something no NFL team wants, especially a team that has won exactly one game in the last two seasons.
Cleveland’s fans are hungry for a successful NFL team, but unfortunately for them, it appears they will have to continue to wait for that day.