Getty Images

Teams in need of a quarterback will consider using a first-round pick to acquire one tonight. Why not consider using a lesser pick to acquire a guy who has proven he can do it?

Make no mistake about it. Even if the Browns decide to move on, Mayfield had two solid years with a team mired in dysfunction for the better part of two decades. In 2018, amid the mess of Hue Jackson’s senior year, who was fired during the season, Mayfield was solid. In 2019, he regressed under a head coach who, frankly, should never have been the head coach.

In 2020, Mayfield was spectacular. He led the team to the last eight, and they gave the Chiefs a hard time. In the first week of 2021, Mayfield once again put Dawg’s fear into the Chiefs. Then came a shoulder injury that ruined the rest of his senior season in Cleveland.

Mayfield can play. Why not go with the proven product? At just $18.8 million for 2022 — a lot for a starting quarterback, given today’s market — it’s a bargain.

The Browns are surely hoping someone sees it that way. In effect, by using a first-round pick on a quarterback, this team is essentially trading a first-round pick for a completely unproven quarterback. Why not trade something far less than that for a quarterback who has shown he can do it?

The teams to watch are the Panthers, Falcons, Seahawks and (I’m not ready to stop now) the Lions. Ultimately, anyone trading for Mayfield could get the real steal of the draft.