Quarterback-needy teams will be considering using a first-round pick to acquire one tonight. Why not consider using a lesser pick to acquire a guy who has proven that he can do it?
Make no mistake about it. Even though the Browns decide to move on, Mayfield has had two solid years with a team that has been mired in dysfunction for most of two decades. In 2018, amid the mess that was the last year of Hue Jackson, who was fired during the season, Mayfield was solid. In 2019, he regressed under a head coach who, frankly, never should have been the head coach.
In 2020, Mayfield was spectacular. He led the team to the final eight, and they gave the Chiefs a run for their money. In Week One of 2021, Mayfield once again put the Fear of Dawg into the Chiefs. Then came a shoulder injury that marred the rest of his final season in Cleveland.
Mayfield can play. Why not go with the proven commodity? At only $18.8 million for 2022 — a great deal for a starting quarterback, given the current market — it’s a steal.
The Browns are surely hoping that someone will see it that way. Indeed, by using a first-round pick on a quarterback, that team is basically trading a first-round pick for a quarterback who is completely unproven. Why not trade something far less than that for a quarterback who has shown he can do it?
Teams to watch are the Panthers, Falcons, Seahawks, and (I’m not ready to stop now) the Lions. In the end, whoever trades for Mayfield could be getting the true steal of the draft.