Baker Mayfield was a surprise pick to many when he went No. 1 overall to the Cleveland Browns in last week’s NFL draft.
But if the Browns hadn’t taken Mayfield there, another team was prepared to at least attempt to make a big move into the No. 2 spot to claim the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback out of Oklahoma, his agent said on “The Business of Sports with Andrew Brandt” podcast.
“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,” agent Jack Mills said.
The New York Giants had the No. 2 pick but were said to be listening to trade talks. Going into the draft, New England had two first-round picks (Nos. 23 and 31) and two second-round picks (Nos. 43 and 63).
“We thought, boy, that’s gonna be a heck of a move to get up that high from where they are,” Mills said, “and, of course, he wasn’t available, so we never knew if that was a reality or not.”
New England quarterback Tom Brady won his most recent league MVP award and appeared in his most recent Super Bowl in 2017, but he will be 41 by the time next season starts. Jimmy Garoppolo looked like he was being set up as Brady’s heir apparent, but the Patriots traded him to the San Francisco 49ers in October.
That left an opening that could have been filled by Mayfield. The Patriots did end up drafting a quarterback but not until the seventh round, when they took Danny Etling out of Louisiana State.
Several other teams, including the New York Jets at No. 3 and Denver Broncos at No. 5, had their eye on Mayfield before the Browns made him the first one off the board, Mills said.
“I just think the momentum was building,” Mills said. “For some reason — I don’t know if it’s leadership or confidence, which he’s got a lot of both — every time he had an interview, it was like, wow, man. … Whatever he was saying, it was going over real well.”