However, they instead plumped for 2017 Heisman Trophy victor Mayfield, enabling the New York Jets to take Darnold third overall after their neighbours the Giants selected Saquon Barkley, seen as a generational running back talent, with the second pick.
UCLA offensive tackle Kolton Miller gave the Pac-12 its fourth selection in the top 15 with the Oakland Raiders taking him 15th overall.
Perhaps the most surprising move came from New Orleans, who moved up - sacrificing next year's first-round pick - in a deal with the Green Bay Packers to select UTSA pass rusher Marcus Davenport.
Heisman Trophy victor Baker Mayfield became Cleveland's latest attempt to find its franchise quarterback. Allen's inaccuracy in college is a concern, and there isn't much buzz surrounding Allen and the Jets.
After Mayfield went to Cleveland, the New York Jets chosen USC's Sam Darnold with the No. three decide. Never mind that the best players were considered Penn State running back Saquon Barkley (second overall to the Giants) and North Carolina State defensive end Bradley Chubb (fifth to Denver). He goes from a former walk-on to No. 1 overall. Since 1999 they have had a league-leading 28 different starting quarterbacks. While he will certainly go to Cleveland's camp with a ton of hype, it's not guaranteed he will be the starter after the club acquired Tyrod Taylor in the offseason. Dorsey said Ward's excellence in press-man coverage is the flawless fit for Gregg Williams' defense.
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Riddick said, "It is a good situation". NY has had one of the NFL's worst running games in recent years, and Barkley is expected to boost an offense that has a veteran quarterback in Eli Manning and star receiver in Odell Beckham Jr.
Ten minutes later, when the Cleveland pick was announced, there were mixed reactions from the Browns fans in attendance at Arlington, Texas, and from the television personnel who are covering the three-day draft. The Jets had traded with Indianapolis, going from sixth to third with the expressed intent to find a passer.
Like Mayfield, Darnold would possibly sit behind a veteran, Josh McCown. "I think that's what I can bring a franchise".
If Dorsey was bothered by Mayfield's Fayetteville, Arkansas, arrest or his crotch-grab at Kansas, it had no effect on the Browns' willingness to bet $22 million on Mayfield's viability.
Cleveland holds the longest active post-season drought, dating back to 2002. Of course, the Browns held the top spot those years, too.
After getting selected with the No. 10 overall pick, Rosen had this to say. "He makes our wide receivers better".