The Cleveland Browns selected Baker Mayfield with the No. 1 overall pick of the 2018 NFL draft, and the Oklahoma quarterback will be focused on turning around the franchise. But if Mayfield hadn’t gone first, the New England Patriots had interest in making a jaw-dropping move for the signal-caller.
During an appearance on a podcast with Andrew Brandt, Mayfield’s agent Jack Mills said they knew the New York Jets at No. 3 would be the “bottom line” but had heard of a potential trade-up by the Patriots.
“We had another team — which is gonna surprise you — another team had said you may get a big surprise on draft day at No. 2 if he’s available. And it was the Patriots.”
Mills noted the draft capital in New England’s arsenal, pointing out the pair of first- and second-round selections. Since the Browns selected Mayfield at No. 1, Mills said we’ll never know if whether the discussion would’ve actually happened.
But this certainly is a captivating what-if conversation.
Since a report emerged before the draft that Mayfield to the Jets was a “done deal,” the only possibility of any other team selecting him would be at Nos. 1 or 2 overall. The Browns were always expected to stay atop the draft and take a quarterback, so only the New York Giants’ pick could be wrestled away.
During the 2017 season, New England traded Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers rather than lose him for nothing. So, the Patriots needed a different heir for Tom Brady, whose relationship with the team has fractured.
Apparently, the Patriots thought Mayfield could be that player. However, because the Browns wisely took him first, the NFL world will never know how much New England truly valued Mayfield.