First round, No. 1 overall
Quarterback, Oklahoma, 6-0½, 215 pounds
Dane Brugler, NFL Draft Guide summary: A three-year starter at Oklahoma, Mayfield arrived in Norman at the same time as Lincoln Riley (offensive coordinator in 2015-16, head coach in 2017), forming a lethal offensive tandem with the Sooners’ up-tempo, spread scheme that resulted in a 34-6 record in the past three seasons, including two College Football Playoff appearances and three Big 12 Championships. With his awards and accolades, he has an extensive resume and is the only player in FBS history with more than 13,500 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards and set a Big 12 record with a touchdown pass in 40 consecutive games (every game of his OU career). Although his ordinary height and body type aren’t ideal, Mayfield has an NFL-level arm with developed touch and accuracy downfield that translates very well to the pro game. One of Mayfield’s best traits is his playmaking ability outside of structure, using his scrambling instincts to improvise when the pocket breaks down. He appears crazed in his movements, but Mayfield has the mental processing speed to stay composed. He is the type of fearless, locked-in competitor that you don’t bet against, but his maturity level is a concern because he doesn’t know how to turn off his competitive nature — it’s how he is wired on and off the field, leading to situations of questionable judgment. Overall, Mayfield’s brash personality won’t be ideal for every situation and his long-term durability is a concern, but he has the necessary passing traits, both physical and mental, to be a winning starter in the NFL, stylistically similar to Jeff Garcia.
First round, No. 4 overall
Cornerback, Ohio State, 5-10⅞, 183 pounds
Dane Brugler, NFL Draft Guide summary: A two-year starter at Ohio State, Ward came off the bench in 2016, but he was basically a sophomore starter (along with Marshon Lattimore and Gareon Conley) before becoming Ohio State’s top corner in 2017, playing primarily left cornerback in the Buckeyes’ press-quarters man scheme — also saw snaps at right corner and in the slot with the Buckeyes’ issues covering tight ends in the second half of the 2017 season. A speed demon with twitchy athleticism, Ward competes with the balance, patience and movement skills to mirror receivers in press coverage, also showing a decisive reactor to make plays on the ball. His lack of size and build immediately stands out, but he plays such tight coverage on film that it usually must be a perfect throw to complete the pass. Overall, Ward’s lack of inches shows at times in coverage and as a run defender, but he is a premier athlete with the budding instincts and required toughness to be trusted vs. NFL receivers on an island, either on the outside or in the slot — one of the top defensive prospects in the 2018 draft class.
2018 Browns draft pick biographies