Report: Browns to be 2018 team for ‘Hard Knocks’

The Sports Xchange

May 17, 2018 at 11:06 am.

The Cleveland Browns will appear on HBO’s “Hard Knocks” training camp documentary series for the 2018 season, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Thursday.

The appearance on the show will be the first for the Browns, who finished 0-16 last season under coach Hue Jackson and hasn’t been to the playoffs since 2002.

NFL rules stipulate that a team is eligible to be selected if it hasn’t appeared on the show in the last 10 years, hasn’t reached the postseason the last two seasons, or didn’t just hire a new coach.

While the Browns meet those stipulations, it should also be noted that the sudden interest in the team could revolve around its use of the top overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft on reigning Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield. The Oklahoma quarterback will be in training camp alongside offseason acquisition Tyrod Taylor.

The 28-year-old Taylor was among a series of moves made by Cleveland in the offseason, acquired in a trade with the Buffalo Bills in March.

Taylor guided Buffalo to the postseason for the first time since 1999 last season and already has drawn rave reviews from teammates along with an endorsement from Jackson.

Mayfield’s stock improved dramatically leading up to the draft. NFLDraftScout.com’s senior analyst Rob Rang initially projected Mayfield as the fourth quarterback to be taken, but moved him up to No. 1 in his final mock draft.

That doesn’t mean there isn’t a huge learning curve for Mayfield, who passed for 4,627 yards and accounted for 48 touchdowns with just six interceptions while leading the Sooners to the College Football Playoff last season.

Jackson has been on “Hard Knocks” as an assistant coach.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were the team of choice in last season’s rendition of “Hard Knocks,” which began in 2001.