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2018 NFL Draft Rumors: John Dorsey Knew Who Browns Were Picking 1st 6 Weeks Ago

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistApril 26, 2018

Cleveland Browns general manager John Dorsey answers questions about the draft during a news conference at the NFL football team's training camp facility, Thursday, April 19, 2018, in Berea, Ohio. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Tony Dejak/Associated Press

Cleveland Browns general manager John Dorsey has reportedly known for six weeks whom he would select No. 1 overall in the NFL draft Thursday night, according to Chris Mortensen of ESPN.

Per that report, Dorsey "still wanted an all-inclusive process for organizational unity. He didn't formally reveal it with owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam until this week, per team sources."

Earlier Thursday, Mortensen reported that head coach Hue Jackson wasn't informed of the player Dorsey wanted to select until "two days ago" (h/t Will Brinson of CBS Sports).

Despite the timeline that Jackson was in the dark regarding Dorsey's plans for the top overall pick, he is in the loop now, per reports: 

Michael Silver @MikeSilver

Last year Hue Jackson (who desperately wanted Myles Garrett) WAS kept out of the loop—by then-GM Sashi Brown. He found out who Browns were taking 1 overall the morning of the draft. This year with John Dorsey has been a different story. He’s in the loop. All good. 😱

Steve Wyche @wyche89

I just reported @nflnetwork that Head Coach Hue Jackson is fully in the loop with the @Browns draft plans. He has seen the final draft board as have the coordinators, some personnel staffers and ownership, which has signed off on everything.

As for whom the top overall pick will be, the latest reports are saying Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield will be the team's selection: 

mike freeman @mikefreemanNFL

NFC GM: "From everything I hear it's Baker Mayfield No. 1 for the Browns." Just remember: everyone lies during the draft but I'm starting to believe this.

The Browns control the top of the draft, with picks at Nos. 1 and 4. At No. 1, it seems likely they'll pick their quarterback of the future, while at No. 4 the team will be in a position to either take the best player on its board or trade the pick to a quarterback-needy team. 

But the more interesting dynamic may be just how involved, or uninvolved, Jackson has been in the draft process. Jackson has often been considered a quarterback guru, especially after guiding Andy Dalton to his best season as a pro in 2015 while he was the offensive coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals, so the idea that he was informed two days before the draft of which quarterback the team is potentially taking at No. 1 is fascinating. 

It's fair to suggest that if the Browns believed, unquestionably, Jackson was the man to guide this ship for the foreseeable future, he likely would have been a key voice, or the key voice, in deciding the team's next signal-caller. 

NFL writer Benjamin Allbright put it another way: 

Benjamin Allbright @AllbrightNFL

Was asked a question today -Mayfield doesn't fit Hue Jackson's archetype at QB, how do you think he feels? My answer: Hue is being asked to win with the players they give him. If he cant do that, he wont be around to complain about Baker being 6'1" anyway.

There's a difference between being in the loop and being in charge of the loop. And Dorsey didn't hire Jackson—he inherited him. The 2018 season may simply be an audition for the head coach. And if he doesn't make Dorsey's players work, his time in Cleveland may come to an abrupt end.

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