Cleveland Browns: McConnell’s final 2018 7-round mock draft

STILLWATER, OK - OCTOBER 14: Wide receiver James Washington
STILLWATER, OK - OCTOBER 14: Wide receiver James Washington /
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Round 1, Pick 1: Sam Darnold, Quarterback, USC

Sam Darnold, by at least most accounts and measures, needs to be the pick here. He has been the near-consensus No. 1 pick since January 2017, and he has stayed there since.

The Browns (finally) get themselves that ever-elusive franchise quarterback with the first overall pick. This pick is not about what the Browns will take, but who the Browns will take.

At this point, it is all but certain that the Browns will take a quarterback with the first overall pick. Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay would have to pick their jaws up off the floor if they do not take a quarterback. The matter is more so, who will the quarterback be?

Ask Mel Kiper Jr., he’ll be clamoring for Josh Allen to be the pick here. Ask other draft analysts, they’ll tell you it’s Darnold, or even Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield.

Interestingly enough, this pick may have been leaked on Tuesday afternoon. NFL insider Benjamin Allbright tweeted simply, “It’s Darnold” before immediately deleting it. Later Tuesday, he had this to say about the incident.

Now, while this could be John Dorsey “hiring” Allbright to throw people off the scent, it is more likely that this could be legit. If it is legit, then it seems that one of Allbright’s higher-ups chewed him out, and forced him to delete the tweet.

John Dorsey loves himself a winner in his quarterbacks, as shown with his selections of Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes II. Going 20-4 in his starts at USC, Darnold checks that box and oh, so many others.