By Kate Arhar // @ClvldK8
With a couple moves that shocked most of the fanbase, the Cleveland Browns selected Quarterback Baker Mayfield first overall and Cornerback Denzel Ward fourth. I’ve already decided that “Barker” Mayfield will fit right in with the Dawg Pound crowd, and for a team that seemed anti-Buckeye the past few years, the addition of Ward should thrill Ohio football fans.
The rumors that Mayfield would be the top pick started a few days ago and that seemed to prove to be correct when Roger Goodell announced his name at the podium. And choosing a Buckeye is always popular. The big question will be, can two players involved in one of the most talked about college games of the year – “FlagPlantingGate”- become teammates instead of rivals?
While many view these players as the top prospects at their position, fan reaction is very diverse. For Mayfield, the Twitterverse was filled with “I Love Him” and “I Hate Him” tweets. There didn’t seem to be any grey area last night. But in typical Cleveland fashion, by this morning, most fans had resigned themselves to wait and see how he actually performs.
While he was not my favorite choice as the Browns future QB, General Manager John Dorsey has a proven track record of evaluating talent and improving every team he’s work for. This early in his Cleveland career, I’m willing to trust that he knows more than I do about players.
And frankly, the fact that he took a QB first – stuck his flag in the Mayfield camp, so to speak – is a very good thing. No excuses. No claiming you took the QB that “fell to you.” No letting other NFL teams decide which QB is going to be yours. Mr. Dorsey will forever be defined by this pick, regardless of his track record. And he had the guts to do it. I have to respect that.
Browns fans reacting to Baker Mayfield was…?
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 27, 2018
— Dan DeRoos (@DanDeRoos19) April 27, 2018
The Denzel Ward selection was a long time coming. The Browns haven’t drafted an Ohio State player since Brian Robiske back in the 2nd round of the 2009 draft. And there have been some REALLY good players coming out of that program. A program that is close to the heart of Browns fans, not to mention geographically a “home team” for Ohioans.
No one has anything bad to say about Ward, it’s just that after the Jets and Colts traded picks, defensive end Bradley Chubb seemed to be the odds-on favorite in that spot. While he would make an amazing addition to the defense, a DE Myles Garrett / Bradley Chubb tandem would strike fear into opposing QBs, Ward is not chopped liver. He’s a fierce competitor and, in my opinion, the best DE in the draft so what’s not to like?
Ward is an absolute stud. Love everything about him except that his name isn’t Bradley Chubb
— Anthony Lima (@SportsBoyTony) April 27, 2018
— Jason (@ScriptOhio) April 27, 2018
So many great options still to come with picks 33 and 35 to start the second round today… Running backs Derrius Guice, Nick Chubb, Ronald Jones; Wide Receivers Courtland Sutton, D.J. Chark, Christian Kirk; Edge Rushers Harold Landry, Sam Hubbard; Offensive Linemen Tyrell Crosby, Connor Williams, Will Hernandez, Maurice Hurst…. just to list a few. One of the benefits of a team with so many needs is that the 2nd/3rd/4th rounds still have great options for you.
And I know that I’ll be tuned in for every selection this weekend!
Talk Browns with Kate on Twitter // @ClvlndK8