Browns draft Baker Mayfield as No. 1 pick
The Cleveland Browns selected Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield with the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft Thursday night.
Mayfield passed for 4,627 yards and 43 touchdowns in a Heisman-winning senior season that ended with a 12-2 record after losing to Georgia in double-overtime of the College Football Playoff semifinals.
Besides the Heisman, he also won the Maxwell, Walter Camp, Davey O’Brien and Chic Harley awards and was named the Associated Press national player of the year.
The 23-year-old Austin, Texas, native threw for a total of 14,607 yards and 131 touchdown passes in a career that started with a freshman season at Texas Tech before transferring to Oklahoma.
The Browns, who went 0-16 this past season, also had the No. 1 overall pick last year, using that pick to draft defensive end Myles Garrett.
Cleveland, which has not made the playoffs since 2002, hasn’t had much luck at quarterback over the years. The team drafted Notre Dame quarterback DeShone Kizer in the second round last year, but traded him to the Green Bay Packers this offseason after a disappointing rookie year.
They traded the 65th overall pick in this year’s draft to the Buffalo Bills in March to acquire Tyrod Taylor, who is expected to be their starting quarterback this season.
Since returning to the NFL in 1999, Cleveland has also spent early round picks on the likes of Tim Couch, Johnny Manziel, Cody Kessler, Brandon Weeden, Colt McCoy, Brady Quinn, Charlie Frye and Luke McCown without much to show for expending such draft capital.
The Browns also had the No. 4 pick in Thursday’s first round, using that selection to take Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward.
Penn State running back Saquon Barkley went No. 2 to the New York Giants, followed by USC quarterback Sam Darnold to the Jets with the third pick.
After Ward, the Denver Broncos took North Carolina State defensive end Bradley Chubb with the fifth pick, followed by the Indianapolis Colts picking Notre Dame offensive guard Quenton Nelson sixth.
The Buffalo Bills traded with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to move up to the seventh pick to take Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen, one of two trades into the top 10 to grab a quarterback with Arizona also moving up to No. 10 in a swap with the Raiders to take UCLA’s Josh Rosen.
Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith to the Chicago Bears at No. 8 and Notre Dame offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey to the San Francisco 49ers at No. 9 rounded out the first 10 selections.
With Mayfield, Darnold, Allen and Rosen going in the top 10, it marked the first time in NFL history that four quarterbacks had been taken in the first 10 picks. Former Heisman winner Lamar Jackson of Louisville was also selected with the last pick of the first round by the Baltimore Ravens, making it a total of five quarterbacks drafted Thursday night.
The draft will continue Friday with the second and third rounds and then rounds four through seven on Saturday.