Mayfield's agent, Jack Mills, told Sports Illustrated's Andrew Brandt that the New England Patriots were flirting with the idea of making a big trade up to draft Mayfield.
Darnold, who is three years younger than Mayfield, is viewed as a project, but his talent is extraordinary.
Mills said Mayfield had visited with the Giants, but their impressions were that they "never thought they were going to take a quarterback". While those trades look like they'll work out, the Rams and Eagles still gave up incredible hauls in draft picks.
The MMQB's Albert Breer and Robert Klemko noted that the Patriots were denied a meeting with Mayfield until after the team acquired the No. 23 overall pick as part of the trade that sent wide receiver Brandin Cooks to the Los Angeles Rams.
The Cardinals moved up to the 10th pick to grab Josh Rosen, whom nobody really expected to still be available at that point. That's assuming seventh-round pick Danny Etling isn't the answer, of course. "They had 23, and they had 31, [they had] two seconds".
Players get interviewed, and that carries a lot of weight, but don't forget about the scouts going into bars in college towns asking if they've got any stories involving their college's quarterback. He is aw-shucks, likes football, makes his team visits with sweats and tennis shoes - ideal for Buffalo. Team after team passed on taking the extraordinary talent, labelled by many scouts and draft experts as the third-best defensive back in the draft.
"Byron in about a week will probably want to take a poke at him", this insider continued. It is fair to wonder if they would have even entertained the Patriots offer.
I had this same feeling a few years ago when the National Football League announced it would be moving the draft to various locations where the games are played. He wasn't selected until Baltimore ended his slide with the last pick in the round. In New England, he would have been a lock to sit behind Brady for at least a couple years.
In his Monday Morning Quarterback piece on Monday, King wrote about a post-draft discussion he had with Browns general manager John Dorsey.