As Baker Mayfield prepares for his second season in the NFL, the young gunslinger revealed an interesting story about last year’s draft.
The Browns decided to select Mayfield with the No. 1 overall pick, but they weren’t always the clear-cut favorites for the former Heisman Trophy winner.
Leading up to the 2018 NFL Draft, Mayfield believed Cleveland would pass up on the chance to select him. Instead, he figured a team in need of a successor at quarterback was working on a trade to acquire his draft rights.
It turns out that Mayfield thought he’d play for the New England Patriots.
Until the day of the draft, Mayfield wasn’t sure the Browns would take him with the first overall pick. (For a while, he was convinced New England would trade up for him at No. 2.) He found the challenge of joining a long-struggling team — Cleveland’s last playoff appearance was in 2002 — exhilarating. “I wanted to come here and play and be the one to change it right away,” he explains, snapping his fingers. The Browns had other plans. In March, before Mayfield was picked, the team announced that any quarterback drafted would sit and study behind veteran Tyrod Taylor, a developmental road map with support across the organization.
New England drafting Mayfield to eventually replace Tom Brady would change the entire landscape of the league. It’d also allow the six-time champions to remain contenders once their aging quarterback retires.
Mayfield has big expectations to meet this season in Cleveland. With tons of talent on the roster and another year under his belt, the Browns are actually favored to make the playoffs.
Clinching a postseason berth for Cleveland . would be a testament to Mayfield’s ability to lead a franchise.