2018 NFL Draft Rumors: 'Mounting Belief' Browns Take Baker Mayfield at No. 1

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistApril 26, 2018

Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield throws during a drill at the NFL football scouting combine, Saturday, March 3, 2018, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Darron Cummings/Associated Press

Reigning Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield may be the first player to hear his name called Thursday during the first round of the 2018 NFL draft.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, there is "mounting belief" among NFL head coaches and general managers that the Cleveland Browns will select the former Oklahoma quarterback with the No. 1 overall pick.

Cleveland seems like a lock to take a signal-caller with the first pick, but USC's Sam Darnold, UCLA's Josh Rosen and Wyoming's Josh Allen may also be in the mix.

On Monday, ESPN's Todd McShay reported that sources told him the Browns were deciding between Allen or Darnold at No. 1.

Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com reported on Wednesday, however, that the decision was between Allen or Mayfield.

From a collegiate production standpoint, no quarterback in the draft besides Louisville's Lamar Jackson comes close to matching Mayfield.

Last season, Mayfield completed 70.5 percent of his passes for 4,627 yards, 43 touchdowns and just six interceptions. He also threw 40 touchdowns in 2016 and 36 in 2015.

All told, Mayfield finished his college career with 14,607 passing yards, 131 touchdowns and 30 interceptions.

The Browns have lacked a franchise quarterback for years, and it is the main reason why they haven't reached the playoffs since 2002—the NFL's longest active drought.

Cleveland also owns the No. 4 overall pick, so it could bypass a quarterback at No. 1. But if the Browns go with a signal-caller first, then another impact player such as Penn State running back Saquon Barkley or NC State defensive end Bradley Chubb will likely be available a few picks later.

Bleacher Report's Matt Miller predicted in his latest mock draft that Cleveland would take Darnold first and Chubb fourth, with Mayfield slotting in at No. 3 to the New York Jets.

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