The Cleveland Browns have been remarkably secretive with regard to the first overall selection in the 2018 NFL Draft. The Buffalo Bills have long been rumored to have interest in moving up to acquire a quarterback, and the New York Giants have been viewed as a potential trading partner, given the relationship between general managers Dave Gettleman and Brandon Beane.
Adam Schefter of ESPN is reporting that the Browns are believed to be most interested in Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield. Daniel Jeremiah of NFL Network has the Browns taking Mayfield and the Giants taking Penn State running back Saquon Barkley in his final mock draft. Ed Valentine of Big Blue View wrote on April 10 that Sam Darnold of USC appears to be “Plan A” for the Giants, but at that point, it was believed that Darnold would be in Cleveland. If the Browns do, in fact, draft Mayfield, and the Giants follow that by taking Darnold, where does that leave the Bills?
Much of Buffalo’s draft plan seems to revolve around what the teams at the top decide to do. For the Bills, fewer quarterbacks drafted is better. This allows them to be more patient in moving up to acquire their preferred player. If two quarterbacks come off the board in the first two picks, with a third almost certain to be drafted by the New York Jets at No. 3, it might force the Bills’ hand in trading up with Cleveland at pick No. 4. This would be the only way to ensure that the Bills select before the Denver Broncos, who could draft a quarterback, but could also draft a talented player at another position.
If Mayfield and Darnold are drafted 1-2, then the Jets will likely decide between the Joshes—Allen and Rosen, not necessarily in that order—leaving the Bills to decide between trading up for the fourth quarterback in the round or standing pat and waiting to see what happens at No. 12. It could also lead other teams, like the Arizona Cardinals, to become more aggressive in their attempts to move up in round one.
While this much uncertainty makes for good drama, it doesn’t allow for much in the way of solid facts. The draft begins at 8 PM Eastern, and it can’t begin soon enough.