1. Lincoln Riley, Oklahoma
He says he doesn’t have the “itch” to be a pro coach at the moment, but this might be too much not to scratch.
I have been hearing from various media types that Riley might just be a part of this Brown thing for a little while, but like all of this, the people who were saying it were speculating.
Now it’s for real.
In the middle of a run to another Big 12 title and a possible College Football Playoff berth, Riley isn’t going to say anything definitive about it …
But yeah, it fits.
He’s the right guy at the right time for the right opening.
Everyone wants the next Sean McVay, and everyone wants the young offensive mind who has it all figured out.
Just 35, Riley is the next big thing the pros want, and who better to grab him and pair him with Baker Mayfield than the guy who helped turn him into a No. 1 overall draft pick?
No, the quarterback doesn’t get to make the call, but he’s just a rookie, he’s going to be the franchise guy for the next decade or more – if everything goes according to plan – and you want him to be happy and comfortable.
And if Cleveland doesn’t get Riley now – or after the college football season – someone else will.
Chance he’s the next Cleveland Browns head coach: 15%
Just because it fits doesn’t make it the certain call. Again, it’s the NFL – Cleveland will likely go with some hot pro assistant, but Riley with Mayfield?