Reflecting on the 2018 NFL Draft in which he was selected first overall by the Browns, Baker Mayfield admitted he thought the Patriots would call his name.
It’s really not often at all that an NFL team has the luxury of transitioning from one capable starting quarterback to another. Even in the most ideal circumstances – think Green Bay going from Brett Favre to Aaron Rodgers, or Indianapolis going from Peyton Manning to Andrew Luck (via one miserable year of Curtis Painter) – there are usually some growing pains and adjustments that have to be made before a franchise can find its groove again.
In a new report from ESPN’s Mina Kimes, Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield opens up about a wide variety of topics, including his reaction to the shocking OBJ trade, the expectations on the Browns to win their division this year, and his love of dancing.
He also addresses what his experience was like on draft day back in 2018. Apparently, in addition to being unsure if Cleveland would really select him with the first overall pick, he says he was “convinced” for a while that the Patriots, not the Browns, would be the team to come calling in April.
As Ryan Wilson of CBS Sports wrote back in May of last year, Mayfield’s agent, Jack Mills, firmly believed that if the Browns didn’t take his client at No. 1 overall, the Pats planned to try and leverage their first-round picks (Nos. 23 and 31) into some kind of package that could vault them into the No. 2 overall spot… where they planned to draft the Oklahoma quarterback to be Brady’s eventual successor.
It’s a tantalizing prospect, no doubt – the idea of Mayfield in a New England uniform. He was obviously sensational in college (after all, he did go first overall in the NFL Draft); and even though the Browns finished with just a 7-8-1 record in 2018, it was still a massive step forward for a team that had won just four total games in the past three seasons combined.
If his rookie season is indeed a sign of things to come, Mayfield’s future in Cleveland is bright. It’s hard to begrudge Browns fans for their rampant optimism and faith surrounding Mayfield, especially considering how long this fanbase has suffering. And Patriots fans certainly don’t have any right to complain about their team’s fortunes looking into the future, not after the past two decades of dominance.
Still though… what a notion to consider. Mayfield perhaps came this close to arriving in New England, where he could have sat and learned from the best in the business for a few years before potentially erupting into an even bigger star than he already is today.