It’s got to be hard trying to run the Cleveland Browns organization. You have top players saying—even jokingly—that they hope another team trades out of the number-one pick so that that team, instead of you, can draft them. That is what Myles Garrett said, and Deshaun Watson recently doubled up on that claim. Watson also notably skipped the Senior Bowl, during which the Browns’ coaching staff was working with one of the two sides.
But there is at least one talent that would be happy to play for the Browns after being drafted first-overall by them: another quarterback, Patrick Mahomes. Of course, the Texas Tech product is out to prove that he is deserving of the first-overall pick, and he has several weeks to work his way up the draft boards.
Mahomes spoke to Cleveland.com during the festivities of Super Bowl week about his future and about the Browns, saying, I want to get drafted as high as possible and I want to get drafted to the right team, and I feel like Hue Jackson has a great thing going there”, which is a bit of a bold claim for a team coming off a 1-15 season no matter the circumstances.
It probably doesn’t help the 21-year-old’s bid to be the top pick in the draft that the Draft Advisory Board only gave him a second-round grade. He did forego his final season of eligibility to declare early. He threw for over 11,000 yards and 93 touchdowns versus 29 interceptions in 32 games played for Texas Tech, with 41 touchdowns and 10 interceptions coming in 2016, which also saw his best completion percentage of 65.7.
Mahomes hopes to make major strides in elevating his draft stock during the upcoming Combine, where he said that he will participate in every drill and function aside from the bench press. Many expect him to be measured at a height closer to 6’1” rather than his listed 6’3”, which will no doubt be a concern for many teams.
According to Cleveland.com, the incoming draftee has already had private workouts lined up for five different teams, and sources tell the site that there are at least two teams that have talked about trading up in order to draft him.
It is important to note that the Browns hold not only the first pick, but also the 12th, in the opening round of the draft. If indeed Mahomes is able to convince scouts that he is the best quarterback in the draft—or even the second-best—however, it may be difficult for Cleveland to acquire him outside of the top 10.
Of course, a lot of things can happen between now and the draft, including the Browns’ rumored interest in acquiring Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. If that should come to pass, it is unclear if they would still be interested in the position in the first round, or if they would still have the resources to execute that plan in the first round.