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Oklahoma Sooners Football Hot Links: Can Baker Mayfield improve the culture in Cleveland?

Cleveland has been pretty awful since returning to the NFL — particularly at QB.

Big 12 Championship - Oklahoma v TCU Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

Hello once again, Sooner Nation! It’s finally May, which means finals are on the horizon for students, and summer is right around the corner. Unfortunately, we’re still quite a ways away from the start of the football season, but there’s plenty of stuff on that front to keep your fix in check.

Oklahoma comes in at No. 8 in CBS Sports’ way-too-early rankings, noting that the transition from Baker Mayfield to Kyler Murray will be the key for success in 2018. West Virginia and Texas are the only other Big 12 schools to crack this top 25, although this just sets the Longhorns up for more disappointment and embarrassment if they continue to underperform given the talent on their roster.

Anyways, let’s move on to the Hot Links! Turns out a bunch of teams actually would have taken Mayfield over the other QBs, Lane Johnson made the top 100 NFL players list (but is too low), Oklahoma’s Jocelyn Alo leads the nation in homers and more!

OU Links

  • Mayfield is now tasked with carrying the Cleveland Browns out of the gutter and into respectability. The real challenge for Mayfield will be figuring out how to win with an organization that only knows how to lose.
  • As for how the Browns’ QB situation stacks up compared to other teams who just drafted QBs, Mayfield is actually stepping into a pretty good spot in Cleveland, all things considered.
  • At least half a dozen other NFL teams besides the Browns had Mayfield as their No. 1 choice for a QB. After watching the tape and evaluating his football IQ, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that so many organizations wanted Mayfield.
  • Cleveland Browns Vice President of Player Personnel Alonzo Highsmith originally gave Sam Darnold the highest rating out of all QBs in the draft class, but after meeting Baker Mayfield in person, the Heisman Trophy winner quickly supplanted Darnold. What Highsmith was most impressed with was Mayfield’s intelligence and competitiveness.
  • The offenses in the NFL have been evolving to a more Big-12-style of play, but aside from Mayfield, that hasn’t translated into drafting more Big 12 players at the top.
  • Former Sooner Lane Johnson comes in at No. 95 (that’s too damn low) on the NFL’s list of the top 100 players of 2018. Congratulations, Lane! You were clearly slighted, but Sooners thrive on that kind of thing.
  • The Oklahoma Sooners are still firmly atop the recruiting rankings for the class of 2019, but the final standings may depend on how many they are able to sign. 25 is the usual limit, but through loopholes, Oklahoma should be able to sign at least 27 in this cycle, writes John Shinn of Diehards.
  • Check out Steven Parker’s final chapter in his journey towards the NFL. In this part, Parker opens up about going undrafted, signing with the L.A. Rams, reuniting with Ogbo Okoronkwo, and the support he has from his family.
  • Jonathan Mayo of put together his first-round mock draft, and Oklahoma’s Steele Walker comes in as the 17th overall pick.
  • Freshman Jocelyn Alo now leads the nation in home runs on the season with 23. What are the odds the she goes on to break Lauren Chamberlain’s career record in homers? I’d say she’s off to a fantastic start.
  • While his Maine team didn’t win many games, grad transfer Aaron Calixte was one of the top scorers in the America East Conference. Now he aims to showcase his strengths in Norman for the Sooners.
  • Franco Miller out of Ohio has announced a decision date of May 10th for when he plans to make his commitment, and the Oklahoma Sooners are in contention for the talented 2018 (yep, 2018) point guard.

Around the Sports World

  • Sixers’ Ben Simmons didn’t play last season, so by rule this is his rookie season, and he’s in contention for Rookie of the Year. The Boston Celtics fans trolled him about it, and it was glorious.
  • Mike Leach (a.k.a. the gift that keeps on giving) has more gems for us ordinary folks. If you’ve been following Leach on Twitter, you may have noticed he’s been sharing several vacation destinations and trip ideas, and further investigation shows he’s also done this right before kickoff on game day. Hilarious stuff.
  • Liberty, the FCS team that beat Baylor to open the season last year, is making its FBS debut this season. Head coach Turner Gill has the Flames moving in the right direction.
  • SB Nation’s Richard Johnson poses an interesting question: Should undrafted football players be allowed to return to school if they still have eligibility remaining? I think that would be a great idea, because it gives the players more options.
  • Minnesota Twins’ Eduardo Escobar has seen an uptick in his play since meeting actor Nicolas Cage. In honor of Cage and his movies, the Twins reworded the game notes with Cage’s movie titles. It’s so strange, but I can dig it.

Stick to Sports!

  • Twitter and Disney have struck a deal that will give the social media’s users access to live streaming content from Disney’s entertainment portfolio. This includes networks like ABC, ESPN, and Marvel.

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