Most folks thought they'd opt for Sam Darnold or cannon-armed Josh Allen.
But John Dorsey revealed over the weekend that three key members of the Browns organization independently had Mayfield ranked No. 1 when scouting him last fall, despite the fact they weren't working together at the time: Dorsey, Eliot Wolf and Browns consultant Scot McCloughan, who could land a permanent position with the club.
Dorsey was out of work after having been fired by the Chiefs, but scouting players heavily to be ready for his next opportunity; Wolf was director of football operations for the Packers, and McCloughan was running Instinctive Scouting after being fired by the Redskins in March of last year.
Those three, along with former Packers and current Browns personnel exec Alonzo Highsmith, all reached the same conclusion: that Mayfield was the best quarterback in the rich 2018 class.
But they weren't the only ones. Of the 12 teams I've heard back from so far, four had Baker as their QB1, and two more gave me a strong indication that he was. Another league source named two other teams that he believes had him No. 1.
Of the four 'definites,' that I spoke directly with, three were in the AFC and one was in the NFC.
Said one team official: "The kid has great swagger. I've never been around a guy that attracts people like that. ..the shotgun thing is not going to hurt him. The level of competition and height (6-0) are real, but he'll do fine if he gets the ball out on time.''
He went on to say that Mayfield has tremendous accuracy, and above average arm strength, more than enough to make all the throws. But it was his fiery personality that convinced him Mayfield would be able to overcome the height issue.
A personnel executive from another team said, "loved the player. Great competitor and very gifted thrower. Huge arm but also great accuracy. Doesn't throw interceptions. Not as athletic as Russell Wilson or Johnny Manziel, but still makes unique and unscripted plays.''
The Jets seemed to have Mayfield atop their board heading into the draft, but Manish Mehta of The New York Daily News reported on Saturday that Sam Darnold, whom the Jets picked at No. 3 when he fell like bread from the sky into their hands, that Darnold was their QB1.
The Rams also may have had Mayfield QB1 based on how coach Sean McVay feels about him. ESPN's Jeff Darlington reported over the weekend that McCoy would've sold the farm for Mayfield if he didn't already have Jared Goff. McVay sat next the Mayfield on his flight to the NFL Combine last month and advised him on how to handle media interviews.
So, the Browns have taken some heat for drafting Mayfield No. 1 overall, but they have plenty of company in the NFL in believing that he was the best in this class.