Apologies in advance for posting this thread. I usually don't pay much attention to the NFL collegiate draft, in no small part because of the supernatural degree of hype it now generates, but there's a bit of comic soap-opera going on with the early picks in this year's draft, so . . .

The first pick in this year's draft (held tonight) belonged to the Cleveland Browns, by far the most pathetic team in the league right now, a team that won exactly zero games last year, and only one game the previous year. That's a 1-31 win-loss record, which is a record of its very own. Nobody else has ever managed that achievement over 32 games.

The Browns have a long dishonorable history of bad quarterbacks, and right now they don't have much in that department. But they don't have much in any other department, either. They also have an equally dishonorable history of making disastrous first-round draft picks. Now, to be successful, any quarterback needs surrounding quality players. In particular, a quarterback's best friend is often a really good running back. There was exactly one of those available in this year's draft, Saquan Barkley of Penn State, who was a Heisman Trophy candidate last fall and, in my divinely-inspired opinion, should have won it. Instead, it went to Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield, a good athlete to be sure, but not exactly a prototypical NFL pro-style quarterback, and in addition, a guy who carries around a reputation of being arrogant and self-centered.

The Browns not only had the first draft pick, they also had the fourth one, courtesy of a trade they made. And there were four other prominent, highly regarded quarterbacks available in this draft, with a lot of commentary from the sports commentary gurus arguing who, among the five total, would be the best to draft. Mayfield generally didn't fall out as the number one among them.

So, the Browns could have drafted running back Barkley as the first pick, and been guaranteed the availability of at least three of that field of major quarterback picks, with Mayfield likely to be still available at pick four position, if they wanted him. But it's even more likely that at least four of the five quarterback picks would have remained available, because the NY Giants, at pick number two, were unlikely to take any of the quarterbacks, because that isn't their greatest present need. What the Giants desperately do need is that big running back. The NY Jets, at pick three, do need a quarterback, and would almost certainly take one, but it is unlikely they would want Mayfield in that position. So, to summarize, the Browns could take Barkley at Pick One, and likely still have Mayfield available at Pick Four.

So . . . who do the Browns pick at Number One?

Baker Mayfield.

They justified that with the statement that they wanted him because "he was a winner and a great athlete". In other words, the exactly qualities they valued a couple of years ago in selecting another Heisman Trophy winning quarterback, Johnny Manziel, one of the most atrociously bad first-round draft choices in NFL history.

So, what did the Giants do? They took Saquan Barkley, and I'm quite sure they are filling the champagne glasses in their team offices as we speak.

Mayfield probably won't be the extreme disaster that Manziel was. He may even turn out to be successful. But with a franchise run as badly as the Cleveland Browns, you have to wonder.

caw