Draft Rewind – Cleveland Browns

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This current version of the Browns started drafting in 1999 as an expansion team. Let’s take a look at why they only have one playoff appearance since then.

Best Five Picks

1. Josh Gordon, WR, Baylor. 2nd round in 2012, Supplemental draft.
The Browns took a gamble that has paid off by giving up a second round pick in the 2013 draft to grab Gordon in the summer of 2012. In his rookie year Gordon caught 50 balls for 805 yards. He was suspended for two games to start the 2013 season and then his career took off – Gordon led the league in receiving yards with 1646 yards and was first team All-Pro.

2. Joe Thomas, OT, Wisconsin. 1st round, #3 overall in 2007.

Thomas has played seven years for the Browns and has made first team All Pro four times and the Pro Bowl all seven years. Many consider Thomas the best left tackle in the game, and he has lived up to his third overall selection. I have a feeling Oakland would take him in a re-draft over JaMarcus Russell.

3. TJ Ward, S, Oregon. 2nd round, 38th overall in 2010.

Ward made the Pro Bowl in 2013 and along with Joe Haden led the Browns to one of the best secondary’s in the NFL and a top ten pass defense.

4. Joe Haden, CB, Florida. 1st round, #7 overall in 2010.

Haden made his first Pro Bowl in 2013, and has become one of the best CB in the NFL. He had 4 interceptions and 43 tackles last year to help lead a strong Browns defensive unit.

5. Jordan Cameron, TE, Southern Cal. 4th round, #102 overall in 2011.
Cameron was the break out TE of the 2013 season with 7 touchdowns and 80 receptions. He spent the first two years backing up Ben Watson and caught only 26 balls. The 6-5 Cameron is a huge end zone target, and along with Josh Gordon gives the Browns a pair of young targets for whomever they find as their QB in 2014.

Though Cleveland has had many bad picks over the years, the hunt for the Franchise QB has led to most of them. They have drafted 7 QBs in 14 years, 6 of them 3rd round picks or higher.

5. (tie) Charlie Frye, QB, Akron. 3rd round, # 67 overall in 2005. Luke McCown, QB, Louisiana Tech. 4th round, #106 overall in 2004. Frye started 19 games with the Browns and 23 in his career. He was 7-16 as a starter. Justin Tuck was taken a few picks later and Kyle Orton was taken in the 4th round. McCown has had a nice 10 year career carrying a clipboard for 5 different NFL teams and starting 12 games. Jared Allen was taken 20 picks later by the Chiefs.

4. Colt McCoy, QB, Texas. 3rd round, #85 overall in 2010.

McCoy started 21 games for the Browns in his first two years with a record of 6-15. He threw for 20 TD and 20 interceptions. He is now a back up in San Francisco. Eric Decker, Navarro Bowman, and Jimmy Graham were all taken within the next ten picks.

3. Brady Quinn, QB, Notre Dame. 1st round, #22 overall in 2007.
Quinn has a record of 4-16 in 20 career NFL starts and has been on 5 NFL teams in his 6 seasons. Joe Staley and Dwayne Bowe were just two of the players that have made Pro Bowls and were taken after Quinn.

2. Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma St. 1st round, #22 overall in 2012.
Weeden was 5-10 as a 29 year-old rookie starter for the Browns and had more INTs than TDs. In 2013 he appeared in 8 games and threw 9 TD and 9 INT. He has since been let go, and signed with the Dallas Cowboys. Doug Martin and Alshon Jeffrey are two budding young stars the Browns could have grabbed instead.

1. Tim Couch, QB, Kentucky. 1st round, # 1 overall in 1999.

Couch was the first pick of the new Browns era. He played 5 seasons with the Browns and had his best year in 2002, going 8-6 and helping the Browns make the playoffs. However, he suffered a broken league in the season finale and had to miss the playoff game loss to Pittsburgh. The Browns could have grabbed Donovan McNabb or Dante Culpepper, who were both taken in the top 11 that year.

Stays courtesy of pro-football-reference.com

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