In every other recent NFL draft, we have known the identity of the first overall pick before the commissioner reads the name. Often, we know weeks in advance.
This year, it’s two days before the draft and we’re still hearing conflicting reports on who the No. 1 pick might be.
Depending on the day this month and the outlet, the Browns have either been locked in on Josh Allen or Sam Darnold at No. 1, which means nobody really knows for sure. ESPN’s Adam Schefter threw a third name into the mix on Tuesday morning: Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield. Schefter reported Mayfield is “definitely” still in the conversation for the first pick. Longtime NFL scout Greg Gabriel tweeted on Tuesday morning that he talked to two general managers and a personnel director who all had a different prediction for the Browns’ top pick: Allen, Darnold and Mayfield (the three also had different names for the Browns’ No. 4 pick: Saquon Barkley, Bradley Chubb, Quenton Nelson).
If you do a mock draft, good luck with it because nobody knows anything.
It’s very hard to believe the Browns haven’t made up their mind, though you can insert your Browns joke here. General manager John Dorsey has reportedly wanted to cut down on the leaks coming out of Cleveland, and it appears he has done that. Or, at least, the leaks are strategic. It’s possible the Browns heard what others have about the New York Jets wanting Mayfield and are putting out their own Mayfield rumor to entice a trade up. It’s draft week; you never know how teams will react.
The Browns will come out of the first four picks with a quarterback. The Jets will too, because they didn’t overpay to trade up to take a guard or pass rusher. That’s about all we know at this point. We don’t know what order the quarterbacks will be selected. Nobody has had what appears to be a reliable read on what the New York Giants will do at the second pick. The same can be said for the Browns’ plans at No. 4. It’s impossible to project what the Denver Broncos will do at No. 5 when we have no idea how the first four picks will shake out. And so forth.
Some of the top picks will come into focus as we get closer to Thursday’s first round. We’ll probably know who the first pick will be before NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announces it, because that’s how it always goes. But two days before the draft is set to start, it seems like any number of scenarios are still in play. It’s the most unpredictable draft we’ve seen in a long time.
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