NFL Analyst: Mayfield Was My No. 1 QB

Brian Baldinger liked both of Cleveland's first-round selections

Taz and the Moose
May 19, 2018 - 9:15 am

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The Cleveland Browns, after months of deliberation, used their first and fourth overall picks on Oklahoma quarterback prospect Baker Mayfield and Ohio State cornerback prospect Denzel Ward.

While many analysts thought the Browns should have gone in another direction – Sam Darnold and Bradley Chubb, for example – Brian Baldinger was fine with both selections.

“Look, I like Baker Mayfield, so I didn’t have any problem with the pick,” “the former NFL player and current NFL and college football analyst said on Taz & The Moose. “He was my No. 1-ranked quarterback throughout the entire process. But I was biased because I’ve done some Oklahoma games, and I’ve been around him. So I’m a little bit biased over anybody else there.”

Darnold went third overall to the Jets, Josh Allen went seventh overall to the Bills, and Josh Rosen went tenth overall to the Cardinals. Some teams, surely, rated those QBs higher than Mayfield. But Mayfield went No. 1.

Will the Browns regret drafting him? Or at least drafting him No. 1?

“It all depends on what Baker Mayfield does and who he becomes,” Baldinger said. “If he becomes a Pro Bowl quarterback much like a Russell Wilson – who I kind of compared him to a little bit, although he’s not nearly as fast – but if he becomes a Pro Bowl quarterback, this is going to be a great draft because you’re going to build around Baker Mayfield for the next couple of years through free agency and the draft.”

Ward, meanwhile, also raised some eyebrows. Many analysts rated him as the top corner prospect in the draft, but No. 4 overall may have been a little too rich for their blood, especially with Chubb still on the board.

Baldinger, again, liked the pick.

“It’s hard to argue with what Ohio State has put out at the corner position,” he said. “Denzel Ward was right in line after (Marshon) Lattimore and (Gareon) Conley and all the other guys who have left there. I like bigger corners, but if you like 5-10 corners that are sticky and just can run with any wide receiver out there, then Denzel Ward is your guy.”