Baker Mayfield went to the Browns with the first overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft. But Mayfield’s agent says that if the Browns had chosen someone else, a massive trade that would have shaken up the entire NFL could have happened: The Patriots trading all the way up to No. 2 and taking Mayfield as Tom Brady‘s heir apparent.
Jack Mills, the agent for Mayfield, said on Andrew Brandt’s podcast that there was a real chance that the Patriots could have traded with the Giants for the second overall pick, and that the Patriots would have selected Mayfield.
“We had another team which is going to surprise you. Another team had said, ‘You may get a big surprise on draft day, at No. 2, if he’s available.’ And it was the Patriots,” Mills said. “They had 23 and they had 31 and they had two seconds. We thought, ‘That’s gonna be a heck of a move, to get up that high from where they are.’ And of course he wasn’t available so we never knew if that was reality or not.”
There was talk before the draft of the Patriots trading up for a quarterback, but trading all the way up to No. 2 would have been incredibly hard to pull off. Given that Giants General Manager Dave Gettleman scoffed at trading down from No. 2, he surely would have demanded even more than the Patriots’ two first-round picks and two second-round picks. Would Bill Belichick, who has traditionally preferred trading down over trading up, really have pulled the trigger on a trade like that?
Then there’s the question of how Brady would have reacted: He’s already refusing to say if he feels the Patriots appreciate him. How would he feel if the Patriots used a bounty of draft picks to take the next franchise quarterback, rather than using those picks on players who can help Brady win another Super Bowl this season?
We’ll never know for sure what would have happened if the Browns had chosen someone other than Mayfield. But it’s crazy to think about the fallout if he had ended up in New England.