Pre-draft process fueled Baker Mayfield’s rise to No. 1

AP

A week ago, it was becoming more and more clear that the Browns were serious about taking quarterback Baker Mayfield at No. 1. It’s now becoming more and more clear that plenty of teams had Mayfield as the top quarterback in the draft.

So how does that happen? Specifically, how does a six-foot quarterback who ran the 40-yard dash in 4.85 seconds become not only the first pick in the draft but also a guy who was coveted by more than a few of the teams that needed quarterbacks?

As one executive whose team was actively evaluating the quarterbacks in the 2018 draft explained it to PFT, if the draft had been held immediately after the college football season ended, Mayfield likely would have been a high second-round pick. It was the work that was done from the middle of January until the end of April that pushed Mayfield to the point where he became the must-have guy.

Browns V.P. of player personnel Alonzo Highsmith recently gushed about Mayfield’s intangibles, and Highsmith wasn’t alone. As the source explained it to PFT, Mayfield blew people away with his demeanor, his words, and his way, once the process of talking to him and interacting with him began.

Enhancing that assessment was the information obtained as scouts learned more about Mayfield from those who had dealt with him in he past. Most prospects kiss the butts of the people they should; Mayfield is among the minority who had a reputation for treating very well the people who couldn’t help him. And that’s a very big deal when it comes to how teams separate one player from another, especially when none of the prospects stand out clearly and obviously above the rest based on physical abilities.

So, basically, Mayfield was at one point on track to be Drew Brees, the prospect — a high second-round pick. Now, many think he has a realistic shot at becoming Drew Brees, the franchise quarterback — a highly-paid, highly-successful, first-ballot-Hall-of-Famer.

Not bad for a couple of six-foot quarterbacks who ran the 40-yard dash in 4.85 seconds.

69 responses to “Pre-draft process fueled Baker Mayfield’s rise to No. 1

  1. Time will tell … he hasn’t even had one NFL practice yet. And let’s not forget – he’s playing in Cleveland.

  2. Instead of picking Saquan and Chubb and creating a pretty decent team for the future, they chose a guy who may do ok but won’t be a franchise guy for years and a CB they could have traded down and picked later. Baker would have been there at 4.

  3. I dont think anyone is really thinking he’s going to be a first ballot HOF’er right now. I liked him and wanted him IF the Giants were going to go QB at 2, presently though he’s nothing more than a potentially good starter.

  4. And yet all the Pats fans laughed at reports that Belichick might have traded up for him. More than a few outlets and quite a few writers have said that Mayfield evolved into the top of this QB class. I don’t think that story was an agent’s arrogance at all. Good for the kid.

  5. Treating people well, and not ‘big-timing’ anyone; great point in his favor. Hope he’s successful.

  6. By that measure Tim Tebow should be well on his way to the hall of fame by now..

  7. The unfortunate reality is that Mayfield is entering a cesspool of personal political agendas that may derail his development. Jason La Canfora made the point today that Dorsey kept Mayfield’s identity secret until telling Hue Jackson two days before the draft. Mayfield’s name coincidentally came out shortly after the disclosure to Jackson intimating that Jackson was the source and opposed the pick as his passive aggressive answers during the draft made clear. Jackson was at the center of the Sashi Brown debacle (political career assassination?) and author of a 1-31 record yet Haslam continues to retain him. Jackson may sabotage Mayfield to try to regain the power he lost to Dorsey. Watch the interplay between Jackson and Todd Hailey carefully this summer; if the suspicions of many fans are correct a battle will erupt between Hailey and Jackson for the future of the Browns and Baker Mayfield. Also watch what Jackson says during training camp – and if he denigrates Mayfield while praising Tyrod Taylor. Haslam needs to sort this out before Jackson completely wrecks the team.

  8. This response right here shows why teams fail at drafting QBs. The exec said if the draft happened right after the season ended, Mayfield would be a high Second. Which meant, that is where his talent belonged. I am not a scout nor have I watched enough film on this guy to say if he will be successful in the pros. One thing I did see in watching many of his highlights. He barely got pressured in the pocket and found easy lanes to move around to make plays down the field. Let’s wait and see how that translate to the NFL.

  9. Yeah, sure. Baker would been there at #4…IF the Patriots didn’t trade up to #2 for him AND if the Jets didn’t take him even though he was reportedly at the top of their board also. If you want to say that your a doubters of his, fine, whatever. But don’t make stupid claims that anyone who keeps up with the league knows is so far from the actual reality of the situation. Baker the TD Maker was in high demand…ear your heart out.

  10. If the Browns thing doesn’t work out, at least his career as that annoying spokesperson for Diet Dr Pepper is there for plan B

  11. Well thought out about Hue Jackson. His only talent is corporate intrigue, which in past ages ws called palace intrigue. His only ambition is to be the slayer of the king, and walk away unscathed. Yes, folks, Jackson is a slimy assassin masquerading as a football coach

  12. People keep using the Drew Brees comparison. It wasn’t that long ago that every team wanted to find the next Russell Wilson. Think about him but a more accurate passer. That’s how you get to be #1.

  13. deneb1973 says:
    May 2, 2018 at 10:01 pm
    The unfortunate reality is that Mayfield is entering a cesspool…………
    ====================
    Conspiracy theory much? SMH

  14. deneb1973 says:
    May 2, 2018 at 10:01 pm

    The unfortunate reality is that Mayfield is entering a cesspool of personal political agendas…

    ———————-

    Sounds like one of those crappy reality shows but the only question is why would someone make such a show in The Factory of Sadness?

    Hope Mayfield thrives but none of the management of the Browns seem capable of creating an environment where that is likely to happen…

  15. Baker has been doubted his whole football life. Walked on at Texas Tech and became a starter as a freshman. He chose to walk on at OU even after seeing Trevor Knight look like the next coming of Aaron Rodgers against the Nick Saban led Alabama defense in the Sugar Bowl. The following season, he beats out Knight for the starting job. The next three years he goes on to finish 3rd, 2nd and then finally win the Heisman in his senior season. Would have been playing for the national title had Lincoln Riley not become ultra conservative in the late 4th quarter and overtime periods of the Rose Bowl. No doubt this will be his biggest challenge yet considering the decades long futility of the Browns, but if anyone can turn it around, I believe he is the young man with the talent, personality and leadership to get it done. Good Luck Baker, you will surely need some of it as well.

  16. shyts7 says:
    May 2, 2018 at 9:42 pm
    Instead of picking Saquan and Chubb and creating a pretty decent team for the future, they chose a guy who may do ok but won’t be a franchise guy for years and a CB they could have traded down and picked later. Baker would have been there at 4.

    ________________________

    If you actually read the article, Mayfield would likely have been gone before the 4th pick.

    If the Browns truly believe in him, they did the right thing.

  17. Mayfield is among the minority who had a reputation for treating very well the people who couldn’t help him.
    ******

    good to hear – ill be cheering for him

  18. shyts7 says:
    May 2, 2018 at 9:42 pm
    Instead of picking Saquan and Chubb and creating a pretty decent team for the future, they chose a guy who may do ok but won’t be a franchise guy for years and a CB they could have traded down and picked later. Baker would have been there at 4

    ***********************

    You have gotta be kidding. Either that or I would suggest that you eliminate old paint chips from yer diet, bruh. Mayfield may not have been swiped by The Hooded one (they’d have had to give up way more next year in addition to the largesse they had in days 1 & 2), but it was common knowledge that the JETS were all but sacrificing sheep trying to appease the football gods to obtain him.

    The Browns could have added Chubb to assemble perhaps the most fiercesome front 7 we’ve seen in some time, but they seem to have a real, bonafide plan in place to add studs to many different aspects of the team.

    Think about THAT. The *Browns* created and are implementing a plan. That’s the sort of change that is needed to shutter the rusty factory of sadness for good.

  19. I’m telling you, the Giants and Broncos passed on Rosen and Allen. So did the Jets who were locked in on Mayfield and took Darnold as a consolation. There are quite a few quarterbacks in Canton that couldn’t run from their own o linemen and probably the greatest ever in NE is just as slow but those guys could work the pocket. Stop the hatred of this guy.

  20. Mayfield may have done a great job throughout the process, but he never should have been ranked low to begin with. He was a Heisman finalist 3 years in a row, continuously playing at a very high level. Pro Football Focus has had him the number one player since the season ended, as anyone would who goes to the trouble of watching these guys on video instead of going by what the Mel Kipers of the world think is the prototypical QB.

  21. He treated very well the people who couldn’t help him?

    What about the Chargers? Didn’t this clown blow off reading their playbook because they “couldn’t help him” based on their draft order.

  22. jake6879 says:
    May 2, 2018 at 9:58 pm

    By that measure Tim Tebow should be well on his way to the hall of fame by now..
    ____________
    +1
    Great football players, because of the violence inherent in the sport and its physical demands, are rarely great human beings.

  23. Sad commentary on today’s society that treating people well even when there’s nothing in it for you is viewed as atypical behavior..

  24. @deneb…you make some really interesting points but I think everyone knows that Hue will be without a job by the end of this season, if not before.

  25. Hue Jackson is on thin ice. He has very little to say about what goes on. If he even thinks about a power play, he is gone. Good luck to the Browns and Mayfield!

  26. Wow the Baker Mayfield hype machine is out in force!! For the Browns sake, really hope this goes better than their last 25 or so QBs…

  27. I’m not in love with the pick, but at least there were good reasons for picking him at one. We will see how this experiment turns out, but better that the organization took the guy they believe in rather than another physically gifted stiff.

  28. “Mayfield is among the minority who had a reputation for treating very well the people who couldn’t help him.”

    I like this guy already. I hope he has much success and is able to help turn the Browns around. We need more athletes who understand that not acting like a big shot says a great deal about your character.

  29. TruFBFan says:
    May 2, 2018 at 9:47 pm
    And yet all the Pats fans laughed at reports that Belichick might have traded up for him. More than a few outlets and quite a few writers have said that Mayfield evolved into the top of this QB class. I don’t think that story was an agent’s arrogance at all. Good for the kid.
    ———————-
    The Pats fans were probably right on that. From where the Pats were what they would have had to give up to get to #2 would have been probibative unless there is thought of some team (that would have to be Browns or Giants in this scenario) making them a ridiculous gift of an offer. Pretty unlikely. Its more likely they were simply scouting a guy they had good reason to believe could land with a division rival.

  30. TruFBFan says:
    May 2, 2018 at 9:47 pm
    And yet all the Pats fans laughed at reports that Belichick might have traded up for him.
    ——————–
    Wrong! What Pats fans found laughable was the claim Belichick would offer Giants a boatload of picks (2 1sts & 2 2nds were mooted by some media), when the most he has ever used on a QB was one very late 2nd pick (62nd overall) for JimmyG. But as usual, don’t let the facts get in the way of your salty misinformation.

  31. I actually think it was the opposite, anyone who watched mayfield vs the other quarterbacks saw he was superior, I think we all listened to scouts overthinking and thought that could push mayfield down because of his personality. The other guys might be safe Andy Dalton/Blake Bortles like starters but Mayfield seems like the only one with a chance to be great. It might have to be with New England in a couple years? If he can survive playing for a horrible team. Poor Andrew Luck couldn’t.

  32. what this pats fan finds laughable is that a guy who hasn’t played a down is already being put on a par with drew brees, a great qb.

  33. Opinions are just that, opinions. Intangibles are just that, intangible. Year after year the best players are drafted by the worst franchises, and pundits are surprised when many fail to play to expectations. Could Ryan Leaf been saved somewhere else? Would Russell Wilson have been a little used footnote elsewhere?? Just what has changed in Cleveland since Manziel??? Really?

  34. Mayfield is accurate. You cannot teach a college QB with a career completion average around 56% to become accurate in the NFL. College QBR numbers do translate into the more difficult, more complex, and faster pro game.
    Throw in the fact that NFL teams discovered Mayfield is a really nice person to everyone else around him and has real leadership skills, his ratings shot up among teams doing their due diligence.

  35. Mayfield has never taken a snap under center… I don’t like the pick. Very surprised Dorsey did it!

  36. “Mayfield is among the minority who had a reputation for treating very well the people who couldn’t help him.”

    What does this mean?

  37. Pre-draft, I thought Cleveland might take Barkley at #1 and one of the QBs at #4. It would have made sense IF they thought the top QBs were pretty much same/same. Obviously, they did not feel that way; they wanted Mayfield without doubt and I think that bodes well for the Browns. Alonzo Highsmith, John Dorsey and Elliot Wolf all came from Green Bay and the latter two were there with Favre and Rodgers; they’ve got to know a little bit about what makes a QB successful.

  38. silvernblacksabbath says:
    May 3, 2018 at 11:03 am
    “Mayfield is among the minority who had a reputation for treating very well the people who couldn’t help him.”
    What does this mean?
    ——————————————————————————————

    It means he wasn’t putting up a fake front just to impress people to get a job in the NFL. When they talked to third parties they were given proof the humble guy they interviewed is like that 24/7 whether you’re an NFL GM or the janitor at the waffle house.

    Basically this article is about an NFL executive who only viewed Mayfield based on media clippings and then when they got around him and investigated the situations themselves once the draft process started found out he’s the most opposite of the “Johnny Manziel 2” comparisons that you could get and most teams came to the same conclusion even though the media mock drafters didn’t. So while the Media was pushing Allen and Rosen etc. Teams had locked in on Mayfield because they had info that the media didn’t.

  39. Bill Parcells said the NFL is what the college game gives them. the game is changing and this pick is looking to the future. RPO, air raid, spread, call it what you want, but that is where the game is headed.

  40. silvernblacksabbath says:May 3, 2018 at 11:03 am
    “Mayfield is among the minority who had a reputation for treating very well the people who couldn’t help him.”

    What does this mean?
    ========================================

    It means he treats the “little people” well such as waiters or training guys. People like Baker don’t treat people like they are beneath him. I wouldn’t say he’s in the minority because most people are decent human beings to each other. Now, if he goes out of his way to help or simply talk to those people, then he goes beyond normal interactions with others. That’s a little rarer.

    Source: I was a waiter and bartender for 10 plus years.

  41. A classic case of not watching the many flaws on film and becoming enamored in the interview room. Classic Cleveland Browns and the reason who haven’t had a great QB since Otto Graham.

  42. Fact of the matter is, there are very few QB’s under 6 feet that find success in the NFL. Drew Brees and Russell Wilson are the exceptions, not the rule.

    Me, or anybody for that matter, has no idea how this is going to turn out but the odds are against him right away and then throw in the fact that its the Cleveland Browns, the odds shoot even higher.

  43. The most important (and most worshipped) quality within the NFL is testosterone. It’s more important than character and even ability. Mayfield has an over-supply. That’s the reason he was chosen number one, especially by a team where testosterone has been seriously lacking for years.

  44. It must have been incredibly tempting for the Browns to play safe, select Saquon Barkley or Darnold at 1 and then Barkley (or Chubb, if the Giants had still picked Saquon) at 4. That was the safe play. Picking Baker Mayfield and then Ward at least shows confidence in their own analysis but could only ever earn them opprobrium in the short term.

    Clearly Mayfield has something. Montana, Brady and Brees all had qualities that scouts could not recognise from their college play. I really hope he works out for Browns fans. They’ve stuck by their team through so much that they deserve some good times.

    Still, I would have preferred to see them take Barkley at 1. I’m not looking forward to seeing him in the NFC East.

  45. john baxter says:
    May 2, 2018 at 10:10 pm

    One thing I did see in watching many of his highlights. He barely got pressured in the pocket and found easy lanes to move around to make plays down the field.

    ================

    But keep in mind – Plays where the QB gets pressured and challenged don’t often make highlight reels. Highlights tend to show the plays that go really well.

  46. Three-time Heisman finalist, super-accurate passer, passes all the “Bill Parcells test” criteria, and now we’re getting details on how far off the Manziel comparisons were, with plenty of testimony of high character.

    As another commenter said above, it’s more of a surprise that he was ever out of top contention in the first place.

    The division’s gotten really dull of late. Good luck to the Browns in shaking it back up again!

  47. At this point, the Browns are America’s Team. At least, the America I grew up in rooted for the underdog. I don’t know if that’s still true

  48. Comparing Mayfield to Drew Brees leaves out an important piece of the equation. Sean Payton. Drew Brees was a good QB in San Diego, but did not become great until he went to the Saints and started running Sean Payton’s offenses. Let’s see now, Mayfield is with the Cleveland Browns whose history dictates they are not quite the same.

  49. The Browns incompetence and failure as a franchise fueled his rise to number one. This is going to be absolutely hilarious. Deshaun Watson is going to own these guys; and this league for a decade.

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