Short of making a huge splash by signing Washington’s Kirk Cousins for $26 million or more per year, the Browns are expected to draft a quarterback first overall on April 26.

It is, by far, the most likely scenario atop the draft board, and Browns General Manager John Dorsey said Tuesday at the Senior Bowl there are four or five quarterback prospects who “make you think at least are they worthy of that position” at No. 1.

Well, it’s safe to say four or five quarterbacks are not worthy.

After watching Wyoming’s Josh Allen and Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield closely throughout the Senior Bowl practice week in Mobile, Ala., it’s difficult to envision either one as the No. 1 selection.

Southern California’s Sam Darnold and UCLA’s Josh Rosen have long been considered the favorites by most draft analysts to become the top pick, and Dorsey’s decision should come down to them.

Allen has prototypical arm strength and size — he measured at 6-foot-4⅞ and weighed 237 pounds at the Senior Bowl. He throws an impressive deep ball, and he possesses good mobility. He has a magnetic personality, projecting himself as a leader and face of a franchise in how he worked with his teammates and handled media obligations throughout the practice week.

But his accuracy issues make him too much of a gamble for the top pick. He often throws an amazing pass or two and then completely misfires. There isn’t nearly enough consistency.

It’s easy to see similarities between Allen and Browns quarterback DeShone Kizer. Allen finished his career at Wyoming with a completion percentage of 56.2. Kizer had a career completion percentage of 60.7 at Notre Dame and a league-low completion percentage of 53.6 as a rookie who went 0-15 as a starter last season for the 0-16 Browns. Their ball-placement woes are tied to their footwork, specifically overstriding with the front foot.

Because Allen is so likable and has an enticing skill set to go along with great size, it’s easy to understand why some talent evaluators have made excuses about his accuracy. They point to dropped passes at Wyoming contributing to a deceiving completion percentage.

Receivers dropped several of Allen’s passes in Senior Bowl practices, but what stood out in most of those instances was how hard he rifled the ball on short and intermediate throws. His lack of touch is also reminiscent of Kizer, a second-round pick (No. 52 overall).

The performances of Allen and Mayfield improved throughout the practice week, but Mayfield was better overall. Senior Bowl officials agreed and named Mayfield the practice player of the week at quarterback. The Senior Bowl will be held at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Ladd-Peebles Stadium and televised on NFL Network, but most evaluators put more stock in the practices than the exhibition game and leave town Thursday after the third and final session.

Breaking down Baker

Unlike Allen, Mayfield displayed good accuracy. Also unlike Allen, Mayfield is undersized for the NFL.

Mayfield, who measured at 6-foot-⅜ and weighed 216 pounds at the Senior Bowl, will need to become an exception to the rule to overcome his height deficiency. Others have done it, including Drew Brees (6-foot) and Russell Wilson (5-10⅝), but Brees was a second-round pick (No. 32 overall) in 2001 and Wilson a third-round selection (No. 75 overall) in 2012.

Players picked first overall — or even at No. 4, which the Browns have, too — had better be the prototype for their positions. It doesn’t guarantee a successful selection, though it increases the chances. Whether 2017 No. 1 pick Myles Garrett can stay healthy enough to consistently dominate remains to be seen, but at least the Browns knew they were getting a defensive end who looks like he was built in a pass-rusher laboratory. Perhaps Mayfield will defy the odds like he did when he blossomed from a two-time walk-on into the Heisman Trophy winner, but the Browns cannot afford to bet a top-five selection on it.

Then there are the maturity and off-field concerns with Mayfield, who was arrested Feb. 25 and charged with public intoxication, disorderly conduct and fleeing. He invoked Johnny Manziel’s name unsolicited this week in an attempt to convince the world he won’t allow anything to interfere with his commitment to football the way Manziel did by partying his way off the Browns roster after two seasons and out of the NFL altogether.

Some evaluators believe him. Some don’t. For what it’s worth, Dorsey is giving Mayfield the benefit of the doubt despite his arrest, flag planting at Ohio State and obscene gesture at Kansas. The GM defended Mayfield’s character and blamed media for creating a narrative.

Still, the contrast between how Allen and Mayfield handled themselves in the face-of-the-franchise department was striking. Whether fans want to believe it or not, the way prospects deal with media at the Senior Bowl and similar events matters to organizations. The same goes for how they treat people behind the scenes. Dorsey and coach Hue Jackson have said the face-of-the-franchise factor is important in their quest for a quarterback of the future.

Mayfield isn’t the only one whose attitude rubs some people the wrong way, though. Rosen carries the label, too.

Rosen vs. Darnold

Dorsey is eager to talk man-to-man with Rosen to get to the bottom of ESPN’s report that he wants to avoid the Browns. The interaction they’ll have during the pre-draft process, beginning at the NFL Scouting Combine, should be vital in how everything plays out.

Rosen is the most polished pocket passer in this class, and he would probably be a no-brainer No. 1 pick if his personality wasn’t a legitimate concern. If the Browns are turned off by it, Darnold would likely have the edge.

There are no leadership, character or maturity concerns about Darnold, and some evaluators believe he has more upside on the field than the rest of the top-rated incoming rookie quarterbacks.

The biggest knock on Darnold is his tendency to commit turnovers. In two seasons, he threw 57 touchdowns against 22 interceptions, but he also fumbled 21 times, per STATS. The popular belief is those problems, especially the fumbling, can be corrected through coaching, whereas accuracy issues, like those of Allen, are more difficult to fix.

Rosen is viewed as better prepared to play right away than Darnold, but Jackson said the Browns want to secure a veteran quarterback anyway. They entered last season without any regular-season NFL wins in the QB room and are desperate to avoid the same scenario. They’ll have more than $100 million in salary-cap space and ample trade capital to land someone who can start for a season or longer while a rookie QB watches, learns and develops alongside Kizer. The period for free agency and trading opens March 14.

If the soon-to-be-acquired veteran is anyone other than Cousins — Alex Smith, AJ McCarron, Tyrod Taylor, Case Keenum, Sam Bradford and Teddy Bridgewater are among the more realistic possibilities — the Browns would likely pick a quarterback at No. 1.

It should be Darnold or Rosen, and it makes sense to list Darnold as the early front-runner.

Nate Ulrich can be reached at nulrich@thebeaconjournal.com. Read the Browns blog at www.ohio.com/browns. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/NateUlrichABJ and on Facebook www.facebook.com/abj.sports.