Are the Browns persuading Baker Mayfield to attend the draft?
By Thomas Moore
The Cleveland Browns are selecting a quarterback with the No. 1 pick of the 2018 NFL Draft, so could the team be behind the move to persuade Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield to attend?
The NFL released the list of 22 players on Thursday who will be attending the 2018 NFL Draft, which opens three weeks from tonight at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
The list includes four of the five quarterbacks expected to go in the first round – Louisville’s Lamar Jackson, UCLA’s Josh Rosen, Wyoming’s Josh Allen and USC’s Sam Darnold – along with notable players such as North Carolina State defensive end Bradley Chubb, Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick and Penn State running back Saquon Barkley.
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That makes it likely that whoever the Cleveland Browns select with the No. 1 overall pick will be in attendance, meaning Browns fans will have the opportunity to see that player hold up their new Cleveland jersey with a No. 1 on the back for a photo opportunity with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
The Browns also hold the No. 4 overall selection, which means that unless they trade out of that spot, the player they select at that position will get his own photo op with the commissioner.
One big name is missing from that list, however, as Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield previously announced that he would spend draft weekend at home in Austin, Texas, with his family.
But could a change in plans be in store for Mayfield?
According to Pro Football Talk, during an appearance on SiriusXM’s Basketball and Beyond with Coach K radio show, Mayfield had an interesting response when asked if anyone wanted him to attend the draft:
"“Oh yes, there’s pressure being put on that decision, for sure.”"
Mayfield doesn’t offer any insight into who is putting the pressure on him, and it could be the league office working to persuade him to change his mind.
But with head coach Hue Jackson saying that Mayfield is still in consideration for the Browns with the top pick, and the team hosted the reigning Heisman Trophy winner for a two-day visit at team headquarters early this week.
Could Jackson or general manager John Dorsey have planted a bug in Mayfield’s ear that it might be in his best interest to make the trip to Arlington on April 26? Maybe because they would like to see their top draft pick holding up a Browns jersey for the TV cameras?
That may be a little too heavy of a conspiracy theory for some, but it is certainly no less plausible than believing that Darnold signing a Browns helmet signals the team’s intention of making him the No. 1 pick, or examining a photo, Zapruder like, of New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. working out with a football sporting a Browns helmet.
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They don’t call it the silly season for nothing, after all.