With Johnny Manziel officially being released by Cleveland, it adds to a brutal string of quarterbacks drafted by the franchise. You want awful? Check out the last ten quarterbacks the team drafted.
Daily Draft: Cleveland Brown Drafted Quarterbacks
So you’re fired up about Cleveland possibly taking Jared Goff or Carson Wentz with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft? You have to try really, really, REALLY hard to whiff as badly as the Browns have over the last 25 years when it comes to drafting quarterbacks, with Johnny Manziel the latest misfire, being released after a disastrous run.
You ready for a colossal bag of suck? Check out the last ten quarterbacks drafted by the Browns.
2014, Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
Drafted: 1st round, 22nd pick overall
QB Drafted Before: Blake Bortles, UCF by Jacksonville, 1st round, 3rd overall pick
QB Drafted After: Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville by Minnesota, 1st round, 22nd overall pick
It was a risky pick at the time, made that much worse by the success – as mild as it might be – of Teddy Bridgewater at Minnesota and with Derek Carr going in the early second round to the Raiders.
There were a few moments to make it seem like there was hope, but Manziel finished his era as more of a cautionary tale than anything else, completing just 147-of-258 passes for 1,675 yards and seven touchdowns with seven interceptions, going 2-6 as a starter.
2012, Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State
Drafted: 1st round, 22nd pick overall
QB Drafted Before: Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M by Miami, 1st round, 8th overall pick
QB Drafted After: Brock Osweiler, Arizona State by Denver, 2nd round, 57th overall pick
How painful was this pick? Not as bad as Cleveland taking Trent Richardson with the third overall pick.
The next two quarterbacks taken after Weeden? Brock Osweiler and Russell Wilson. Nick Foles and Kirk Cousins also went later.
The whole idea behind taking Weeden was that he was ready right out of the box. Overaged after playing minor league baseball, he was mature, but he also wasn’t supposed to be any sort of a project. To be fair, he didn’t have any help around him, but he was an interception machine throwing 26 in his two years – along with 5,116 yards and 23 touchdowns – and didn’t make anyone around him better. As bad as the pick was, though, it’s saved by Washington’s gaffe, trading the farm to move up to take Robert Griffin III.
2010, Colt McCoy, Texas
Drafted: 3rd round, 85th pick overall
QB Drafted Before: Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame by Carolina, 2nd round, 48th overall pick
QB Drafted After: Mike Kafka, Northwestern by Philadelphia, 4th round, 122nd overall pick
It was a fine idea, taking a steady leader and efficient passer in the third round, and to be fair, he’s still in the league. In three years at Cleveland he won just six games, completing 58% of his throws for 4,388 yards and 21 touchdowns with 20 interceptions before going off to San Francisco and Washington.
It could be worse, though – this was the Sam Bradford, Tim Tebow, Jimmy Clausen draft. None of the 14 quarterbacks drafted are currently on the teams that took them.
2007, Brady Quinn, Notre Dame
Drafted: 1st round, 22nd pick overall
QB Drafted Before: JaMarcus Russell, LSU by Oakland, 1st round, 1st overall pick
QB Drafted After: Kevin Kolb, Houston by Philadelphia, 2nd round, 36th overall pick
At least Cleveland took future Hall of Fame tackle Joe Thomas earlier.
A legendary pick, mainly because of the massive slide and draft day drama, Quinn’s Cleveland career was even more painful throwing for 1,902 yards and ten touchdowns with nine interceptions, going 3-9 in his era before bouncing around the league for a few more years.
However, as miserable as this pick was, it wasn’t JaMarcus Russell with the No. 1 overall pick. Who did the Browns miss out on quarterback-wise? No one. Drew Stanton? Trent Edwards? Troy Smith? Tyler Thigpen? None of the 11 quarterbacks taken did much of anything.
2005, Charlie Frye, Akron
Drafted: 3rd round, 67th pick overall
QB Drafted Before: Jason Campbell, Auburn by Washington, 1st round, 25th overall pick
QB Drafted After: Andrew Walter, Arizona State by Oakland, 3rd round, 69th overall pick
It would’ve been nice if the third round pick had worked out – and he had his moments in his three years, throwing for 3,490 yards and 14 touchdowns with 23 interceptions before going off to Seattle for two years, Oakland a year, and then exiting the league.
This was the Alex Smith/Aaron Rodgers draft, and Matt Cassel and Ryan Fitzpatrick went in the seventh round, but Washington made the biggest gaffe taking Jason Campbell in the first. Andrew Walter and David Greene were the next two quarterbacks off the board, but the Browns missed out on Kyle Orton. Interestingly enough, future Cleveland quarterback Derek Anderson went in the sixth round to Baltimore.
2004, Luke McCown, Louisiana Tech
Drafted: 4th round, 106th pick overall
QB Drafted Before: Matt Schaub, Virginia by Atlanta, 3rd round, 90th overall pick
QB Drafted After: Craig Krenzel, Ohio State by Chicago, 5th round, 148th overall pick
The guy turned out to be the longest-lasting quarterback by far after the Matt Schaub pick in the third, but just not for the Browns. McCown only played one year in Cleveland, throwing for 608 yards and four scores with seven interceptions, and then he was gone.
Matt Mauck was the one quarterback of notoriety who went after McCown, but not for positive reasons.
Who were the top quarterbacks taken in 2004? Eli Manning, Philip Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger. Hall of Fame, Hall of Fame, Hall of Fame, and then Buffalo took J.P. Losman with the 22nd pick.
2000, Spergon Wynn, SW Texas State
Drafted: 6th round, 183rd pick overall
QB Drafted Before: Marc Bulger, West Virginia by St. Louis, 6th round, 168th overall pick
QB Drafted After: Tom Brady, Michigan by New England, 6th round, 199th overall pick
This might be as painful as any Cleveland miss, mainly on the bad luck factor. Wynn was a sixth round pick – a throwaway selection – except that Marc Bulger went before him in the round, and Tom Brady went 16 picks later. Want to feel a little better, Browns fans? The first three quarterbacks taken were Chad Pennington, Giovanni Carmazzi and Chris Redman.
Wynn played one year with Cleveland, completing 22-of-54 passes for 167 yards with an interception, played one more year with Minnesota, and was out of the league.
1999, Tim Couch, Kentucky
Drafted: 1st round, 1st pick overall
QB Drafted Before: None
QB Drafted After: Donovan McNabb, Syracuse by Philadelphia, 1st round, 2nd overall pick
Couch never had a chance. He turned out to be a Hal Mumme system quarterback from Kentucky, but he was killed behind a miserable Brown O line, playing five years throwing for 11,131 yards and 64 touchdowns and 67 picks, going 22-37 in his era.
Yeah, Donovan McNabb went with the pick right after, but Akili Smith is an all-timer of a bust to Cincinnati with the third selection. In a draft of wild misses, Daunte Culpepper was a huge get for Minnesota at the 11, but Chicago took Cade McNown with the next pick. Aaron Brooks was the only other decent QB taken, going in the fourth round to Green Bay.
1995, Eric Zeier, Georgia
Drafted: 3rd round, 84th pick overall
QB Drafted Before: Stoney Case, New Mexico by Arizona, 3rd round, 80th overall pick
QB Drafted After: Rob Johnson, USC by Jacksonville, 4th round, 99th overall pick
A star right out of high school – getting to Georgia early and turning into a nice passer for the Bulldogs – Zeier just never worked out for the Browns, playing one year throwing for 864 yards and four touchdowns with nine picks, and then the franchise moved to Baltimore. He had a six-year career with three franchises, throwing for 3,520 yards and 16 scores with 12 interceptions.
Rob Johnson had a more notable career, but Cleveland didn’t miss out on anything. Steve McNair and Kerry Collins were the top five quarterback picks, and Kordell Stewart went in the second round.
1992, Keithen McCant, Nebraska
Drafted: 12th round, 318th pick overall
QB Drafted Before: Mark Barsotti, Fresno State by Miami, 11th round, 296th overall pick
QB Drafted After: Cornelius Benton, Connecticut by Pittsburgh, 12th round, 318th overall pick
It was a 12th round pick – whatever. He was cut right away.
This was a miserable quarterback draft with David Klingler and Tommy Maddox going in the first round, and Matt Blundin and Tony Sacca going in the second. Jeff Blake in the sixth round and Brad Johnson in the ninth turned out to have the strongest careers.
By the way, the next five …
11. 1990, Clemente Gordon, Grambling State, 11th round
12. 1988, Steve Slayden, Duke, 12th round
13. 1986, Mike Norseth, Kansas, 7th round
14. 1985, Bernie Kosar, Miami, supplemental pick
15. 1984, John Bond, Mississippi State, 3rd round supplemental from USFL