With hours to go before the NFL draft, Baker Mayfield has stolen the show. After weeks of speculation that the Browns would select either Josh Allen or Sam Darnold with the top pick, there is growing buzz that Mayfield could be drafted at No. 1. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported there is “mounting belief” around the league that Mayfield will be the Browns pick.
“Browns continue to keep the decision on their No. 1 pick a secret, but there is a mounting belief from HCs and GMs around the league that Cleveland will take Baker Mayfield,” Schefter tweeted.
There is far from a consensus on where Mayfield will get drafted, but the majority of draft analysts have Mayfield landing inside the top five. Mayfield told Sports Illustrated that he is not going later than No. 5.
NFL Network’s Mike Mayock has Mayfield going to the Jets at No. 3 in his latest mock draft. NFL Network’s Peter Schrager also has Mayfield going to the Jets.
Whether it was Mike Maccagnan spending the first day of free agency in Norman, Okla., back in March, or the glowing reports I got from the dinner the team’s top brass had with him in Morristown, N.J., a few weeks ago — there’s been more than just smoke here. The Jets like Mayfield. A lot. And I see him — Karate Kid headband and all — being the first quarterback selected by Gang Green in the top 3 of the draft since Joe Namath in 1965.
Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller falls in line with this thinking, but also noted on his Stick to Football podcast that Josh Rosen is a strong possibility as well.
Here’s the only thing anyone knows: the Jets will draft a quarterback with the No. 3 overall pick.
Who that pick will be is a mystery. There has been information linking them to Josh Allen, Baker Mayfield and Josh Rosen throughout this process. It’s Mayfield getting the tab in this final mock draft. He’s accurate, mobile and the fiery leader that’ll match the team’s aggressive young defense. But it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Rosen picked here. Or Allen.
The thought process behind Mayfield or Rosen over Allen is that this front office already missed badly on a project in Christian Hackenberg. They can’t afford to miss on another if Allen doesn’t hit his ceiling. Both Rosen and Mayfield are seen as safer options for the intense scrutiny the Jets face from the local media.
Count Mayfield’s former coach Lincoln Riley as a believer that he can make the transition to the NFL.
“He wins the job as a walk-on freshman at Texas Tech,” Riley told Sports Illustrated. “He beats out a bunch of other good players despite having no experience in the offense here at Oklahoma. He’s always been able to [adapt] to new situations and win over teammates and master schematically what you want him to pretty quick. I don’t think there’s anything they’re gonna put in front of him that he can’t handle.”
Mayfield ran a 4.84 at the NFL combine, and the former Oklahoma quarterback measured 6’1″ and 215 pounds. Despite questions about his size, Mayfield appears to have cemented his status as a top 10 pick.
Source: Heavy Sports