Surprised.

That, in a nutshell, is the reaction among draft analysts I’ve talked to about new Browns General Manager John Dorsey picking Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield first overall on Thursday night.

I can relate.

I’m still trying to wrap my mind around an old-school NFL lifer like Dorsey staking his reputation on an undersized quarterback at No. 1.

It’s such a bold move because Mayfield, 6-foot-⅝ and 215 pounds, will need to be an exception to the rule just to become a good NFL quarterback, let alone the elite one the top pick should be. The draft is full of risks, but rolling the dice on anyone who’s not a physical prototype at No. 1 is a huge one.

Especially when Southern California’s Sam Darnold and UCLA’s Josh Rosen, quarterbacks who have ideal size to go along with many other attractive traits, were the other options. The New York Jets took Darnold third overall, and the Arizona Cardinals picked Rosen 10th.

Of course, size isn’t everything. Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen is bigger and has a stronger arm than any of the other top-rated quarterbacks in this class, but his well-documented accuracy issues made him too much of a gamble at No. 1. The Buffalo Bills traded up from No. 12 to draft him at No. 7 despite racial slurs being unearthed on the eve of the draft in tweets he sent when he was a high school student in 2012 and 2013.

But back to the bottom line: Dorsey bet his legacy on Mayfield being better than quarterbacks who actually look the part.

Dorsey is known for coveting height, weight and speed, but what we’ve learned is he values them less in quarterbacks than other positions, placing more emphasis on intangibles like leadership, work ethic and intelligence.

Having said that, it’s fair to question whether Mayfield will actually foster the culture the Browns seek. His arrest last year on charges of public intoxication, disorderly conduct and fleeing, his flag-planting stunt at Ohio State and his crotch-grabbing incident at Kansas cast doubt on his character and maturity.

Dorsey wouldn’t say it publicly after he picked Mayfield, but the former Green Bay Packers scout and his top lieutenants see Brett Favre in the reigning Heisman Trophy winner.

Dorsey and Browns consultant Scot McCloughan are close friends who worked together in Green Bay when Favre led the Packers to a victory in Super Bowl XXXI. Before the Browns hired McCloughan, the former GM of Washington and San Francisco compared Mayfield to Favre during radio interviews in October and January and declared him his favorite quarterback in this class. Assistant GM Eliot Wolf and vice president of player personnel Alonzo Highsmith were also longtime Packers executives. Wolf’s father, Ron, became a hall of famer largely because he traded for Favre in 1992.

Mayfield is an accurate passer — and that’s obviously vital — but he doesn’t have a Favre-quality arm. It’s above average.

“He has feet to extend the play,” Dorsey said. “He has really good accuracy. He has a quick release. He has a strong arm. His efficiency in the red-zone offense is uncanny.

“If in fact you go look statistically at all of the different breakdowns or categories of the quarterback position, he is either No. 1 or No. 2 in any of those quarterback positions. You know what else separates him? He is hungry. He wants to be a really good football player, and he is going to be a really good football player.”

Perhaps Dorsey nailed it, but the list of quarterbacks shorter than 6-1 who have excelled in the modern-day NFL is, well, short.

Drew Brees, a second-round pick (No. 32 overall) in 2001, is a true outlier because of his ability to consistently win from the pocket despite being 6-foot. Mayfield must emulate Brees because he’s not nearly as athletic as Russell Wilson, 5-10⅝, and won’t be able to dominate outside the pocket.

Although Mayfield had a knack for improvising successfully when the pocket broke down in college, it’ll be difficult against bigger, faster and stronger defenders in the NFL. Wilson excels on that front, but he posted a time of 4.55 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine in 2012, when he was drafted in the third round (No. 75 overall). Mayfield had a time of 4.84 seconds last month.

Mayfield could defy the odds the way he did as a two-time walk-on who went 33-6 as a starter at Oklahoma. Still, it’s surprising Dorsey wagered the top pick on it happening.

No. 4 selection

If Ohio State’s Denzel Ward becomes a legitimate shutdown cornerback in the NFL, no one will complain about Dorsey picking him fourth overall, unless, of course, North Carolina State defensive end Bradley Chubb proves to be a perennial Pro Bowl pass rusher.

A Nordonia High School graduate, Ward, 5-10⅞ and 183 pounds, is a top-rated prospect with 4.3 speed who fills a dire need on the roster, and cornerback is one of the most important positions in the NFL.

On the other hand, edge rusher is even more vital — second only to quarterback in importance — and the thought of forming a trio with Chubb and defensive ends Myles Garrett and Emmanuel Ogbah was enticing.

So even though I’m fine with Dorsey picking Ward at No. 4 — it’s not nearly as confusing as the Mayfield selection — I would have preferred Chubb.

Not only did the Denver Broncos immediately choose Chubb at No. 5 after the Browns passed on him, but the Broncos reportedly called off a trade to do it. ESPN reported the Broncos and Bills had agreed to a deal depending on who was available. After the Broncos stayed put and took Chubb, the Bills traded with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, moving up to No. 7 for Allen.

As for Ward’s arrival, it could foreshadow starting cornerback Jamar Taylor’s departure from Cleveland. The Browns have been shopping Taylor, a league source said.

Ward (No. 4 overall in 2018) and safety Jabrill Peppers (No. 25 in 2017) were drafted with the picks the Browns acquired last year when Sashi Brown, Dorsey’s predecessor, passed on quarterback Deshaun Watson by trading the 12th overall selection to the Houston Texans.

Rest of the picks

A quick recap of my initial reactions to the other seven selections Dorsey made:

• Nevada offensive lineman Austin Corbett (second round, No. 33 overall): Considering this is the first pick of round two, it would be nice if the Browns had a concrete plan for his position instead of advertising a wait-and-see approach. They’re set at guard with Joel Bitonio and Kevin Zeitler, so it would be ideal for Corbett to pan out at left tackle, where an heir to retired 10-time Pro Bowler Joe Thomas is needed. If Corbett can do it, good pick.

• Georgia running back Nick Chubb (second round, No. 35): Dorsey strayed from his track record here, and it’s my favorite of his choices because Chubb should immediately provide a big, tough complement to the offense’s best all-around weapon, Duke Johnson. Free-agent acquisition Carlos Hyde fits the bill, too, but he hadn’t played all 16 games in an NFL season until last year. In Dorsey’s 27 years working in player personnel departments, this is just the second time he’s been associated with drafting a back earlier than round three.

• Miami defensive end Chad Thomas (third round, No. 67): He had better be elite against the run — vice president of player personnel Andrew Berry praised that aspect of his game — because he had just one sack for every three games he started in college.

• Florida wide receiver Antonio Callaway (fourth round, No. 105): He could be the most talented receiver in this class, but his long list of transgressions and history of drug use should make everyone nervous. Especially because the Browns already have two players with off-field baggage in their receiving corps — Josh Gordon and Corey Coleman.

• Memphis linebacker Genard Avery (fifth round, No. 150): There’s a lot to like about the resume of this high school state champion powerlifter who should begin his NFL career as a backup middle linebacker and fixture on special teams. He had 8.5 sacks last season, and ProFootballFocus.com gave him the highest pass-rushing grade at his position in this class.

• Texas A&M receiver Damion Ratley (sixth round, No. 175): With only 43 catches for 829 yards and eight touchdowns in three seasons, it’s hard to know what to think.

• Louisiana cornerback Simeon Thomas (sixth round, No. 188): At 6-3 and 197 pounds, he has enticing size for his position. On the other hand, he’s another player with many off-field red flags in his background. An academic suspension and another suspension apparently stemming from an NCAA probe into recruiting violations led him to sit out the 2014 and 2015 seasons. He’ll turn 25 on Sept. 22.

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.