Browns Draft Baker Mayfield No. 1

The Browns are hitching their wagon to the Heisman Trophy winner. Reaction from CBS Sports Radio's on-air talent? Mixed.

Taz and the Moose
April 26, 2018 - 8:22 pm

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First it was Sam Darnold. Then it was Josh Rosen. Then it was Josh Allen. Then it was Saquon Barkley. Then it was Sam Darnold again.

In the end, the Cleveland Browns selected Oklahoma quarterback prospect and Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield with the first overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft on Thursday – and CBS Sports Radio's on-air talent had a lot to say about it.

"I’m worried about this pick," said Damon Amendolara, host of The DA Show, who graded the pick a B-minus. "Personally, I think Baker Mayfield is not a guy who will handle losing early well, being under public scrutiny, and dealing with a lacking supporting cast. I need a guy who handles everything with total professionalism and is even keel despite losing. The team – and Baker – will struggle early. How he handles this? I worry."

Marc Malusis, co-host of Taz & The Moose, agreed.

“I think it’s a mistake," he said. "I don’t think it’s playing the draft process. I don’t think he’s the best quarterback prospect in this draft class. I think you can then trade back conceivably speaking to add more value to your team and add other assets in terms of draft choices and trade back if the apple of your eye is Baker Mayfield. That’s the concern I would have if I’m the Cleveland Browns. I think it’s a little bit of a reach.”

Taz, on the other hand, believes Mayfield will be an excellent NFL quarterback.

"He's a winner," Taz said. "He's a winner. Great pick for the Browns. Baker is a pure gunslinger that has a nonstop motor and desire to win.  I can see him controlling an NFL huddle with no problem as a younger QB."​

That may be true, but the Browns still may have overpaid.

“We both believe Baker Mayfield is going to be a good NFL to a great NFL quarterback," Moose said. "We do. However, if I’m measuring him up and lining him up right now, do I think that Baker Mayfield has the best potential? Me personally, I do not. I think it’s Sam Darnold. If I was in that war room for the Cleveland Browns, Sam Darnold would be the No. 1 overall pick.”

Amy Lawrence, meanwhile, felt good about the pick, giving the Browns a B+ for taking Mayfield No. 1.

"The 2017 Heisman Trophy winner offers experience, leadership, moxy, passion, and a competitive fire," said the After Hours with Amy Lawrence host. "He will instantly put fans in the stands and more eyeballs on the Browns. He believes in himself, and that confidence has carried him from walk-on to overall No. 1 pick. He's strong, mobile, accurate, and creative in the pocket or on the move. But how quickly will he be ready for the speed of the NFL? And can he remain professional and keep his emotions in check now that football is his job?"

Tiki Barber, co-host of Tiki and Tierney, loved the pick even more than Lawrence. In fact, he gave the pick an "A."

"He's the best, most pro-ready quarterback in the draft," the former All-Pro running back said. "More importantly, his performance was always at a high level (in terms of) completion percentage, accuracy, and decision-making. He's got a high level of confidence and desire to be great." 

Barber's co-host, Brandon Tierney, wasn't as enamored with Mayfield as others. He graded the Browns at a B-minus for the pick.

"Low bust potential, but his ceiling doesn't compare to the other top first-round QBs," Tierney said. "I'm concerned about his ability to make conventional down-the-field plays from the pocket. He's very adept at extending play and throwing on the move, but comparisons to Russell Wilson are way, way off. Wilson is an uber athlete; Mayfield a tick better than average. Great energy and passion, but a gutsy call – one I would not have made at 1."

Scott Ferrall, host of Ferrall on the Bench, liked the pick but has concerns about Mayfield's maturity.

"I always thought he was the best quarterback of the bunch," Ferrall said. "Great playmaker and super-clutch.  The concern is his behavior, even on the field. Disrespecting teams and players with outrageous antics is the problem that needs to go away immediately."

Indeed, after passing on Carson Wentz and Deshaun Watson in back-to-back drafts, the Browns took perhaps the most polarizing prospect in the 2018 NFL class.

"I like the player, just don’t love him No. 1 overall," Moose said. "I don’t believe he is the best quarterback prospect in the draft class. He can be successful as long as the Browns understand what he is and design the offense around him. If they don’t, he will fail. If they do, he can help redefine the Browns franchise."

After the Giants and Jets drafted Saquon Barkley and Sam Darnold second and third, respectively, the Browns selected Ohio State defensive back prospect Denzel Ward fourth overall.

Check out draft profiles for some of the other top picks!

Barkley rushed for 3,843 yards and 43 touchdowns during his three-year career at Penn State. Last season, he ran for 1,271 yards and 18 touchdowns, averaging 5.9 yards per carry. He also had 54 catches for 632 yards and three scores.

The Giants’ top returning rusher is Wayne Gallman, who ran 111 times for 476 yards (4.3 yards per carry) and zero touchdowns.

Darnold completed 63.1 percent of his passes for 4,143 yards, 26 touchdowns and 13 interceptions last season, leading USC to the Pac-12 championship. He joins a quarterback room that is, in a word, crowded. The Jets re-signed Josh McCown, added Teddy Bridgewater in free agency, and still have Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty on the roster.

The Jets haven't made the playoffs since 2010 and have finished with a winning record just once in the last seven seasons.

Denver selected Bradley Chubb fifth overall. Last year, the N.C. State product was named ACC Defensive Player of the Year, a first-team All-American, and won the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, which is awarded annually to the best defensive player in college football. Past winners include Warren Sapp, Charles Woodson, Champ Bailey, Terrell Suggs, Elvis Dumervil, Ndamukong Suh, and Luke Kuechly.

The Bills selected Allen seventh overall, this after trading a pair of second-round picks (No. 53 and No. 56) to Tampa Bay to move from No. 12 to No. 7.  The third quarterback off the board, Allen might have the strongest arm in the draft.