By Nick Shook
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We’re less than a month away from the draft, which means dinner expenses are about to get pricey.
In a draft class stocked with quarterback talent, two of the the presumed top four signal-callers are hitting the road for meetings with teams picking in the top three. Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield is flying to Cleveland for a two-day visit with the Browns beginning Monday, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported.
As expected, teams are doing their due diligence with potential first-round selections, hosting an assortment of prospects in the weeks leading up to the draft as they attempt to determine where those players land on their draft boards. It’s a natural and necessary part of the process, and sometimes an essential one that can sway a team one way or another on a specific player. With Cleveland selecting at Nos. 1 and 4 and in need of a quarterback, Mayfield is the first of the quartet to visit GM John Dorsey and the rest of the staff. The other three — Allen, Josh Rosen and Sam Darnold — will meet with the Browns at their Berea, Ohio, facility later this week, per The Plain Dealer’s Mary Kay Cabot.
Allen’s visit undoubtedly won’t be the only quarterback meeting for the Jets, who moved up to No. 3 in a trade with Indianapolis, presumably to position themselves to select a signal-caller. Mock drafts have been scattered on how this one is expected to unfold, with plenty of the predicted pecking depending on what the other New York team — the Giants — do at No. 2. Allen and Mayfield very well could be available at Nos. 3 or 4, adding importance to these visits.
Then again, most pre-draft visits are important for all parties, especially when it involves a team picking in the top five. We’ll see how much they mean once these franchises make their decisions on April 26.