Tuesday, April 24, 2018

If it’s Tuesday . . .

Let’s see. It’s Tuesday of draft week and the flavor of the day is Baker Mayfield.

Yep, the smallish quarterback from Oklahoma became the latest draft darling of the National Football League’s college football draft nation as we careen toward D-Day Thursday night in Arlington, Texas.

On Monday, noted draft expert Mike Mayock had a “gut feeling” the Browns were going to take USC quarterback Sam Darnold with the top pick in this year’s lottery and everyone got excited because, well, because Darnold has become a fan favorite.

Then Tuesday arrived and Mayfield, who has impressed with his aggressive attitude and leadership qualities, has seemingly supplanted Darnold on the draft guru throne at the top.

The esteemed Adam Schefter of ESPN tweeted – and this is where the rumor gained legs – that Mayfield, according to a NFL executive, is “definitely” in the mix by the Browns and being strongly considered with the precious first choice.

Being considered, mind you, is not the same as having his first name already scribbled on the card NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will intone when he launches this year’s draft.

It is not chiseled, either, because as we have all learned over the years, just about anything can happen at the top of the draft. It doesn’t take much to cause little belches early that can severely alter the course many believe it will take.

The equally esteemed Peter King of Sports Illustrated in his one and only mock draft a few days ago had the Browns grabbing Darnold, which eased the fears of Darnold supporters for at least a day.

Now along comes Mike Tanier of Bleacher Report who drops a creative little nugget into the laps of Browns Nation with his final mock draft. It’s a thought-provoking eye opener.

He has the club taking Darnold with the initial pick, then trading down twice with Buffalo and New England to take offensive tackle Kolton Miller, linebacker Leighton Vander Esch and cornerback Josh Jackson in the bottom third of the round.

That means no Saquon Barkley or Bradley Chubb, rated in many quarters as the two best players in this draft regardless of position.

It must be a Tuesday thing.

Actually, that’s not a bad haul because it fills important holes with three well-regarded prospects and strengthens the roster. But the likelihood of General Manager John Dorsey working the opening round with such dexterity is unlikely.

Who knows what Wednesday will bring? By Thursday night, it will all seem anticlimactic.

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