You can now cue the Homer Simpson D’oh! Lets start at the beginning, or the second beginning as it were.
10. Tim Couch– For an expansion team, this was a bold statement. And while many will argue that Couch was a bust, I will say loud and clear, look at the numbers: 11,000 yds. 64 TDs, 67 INTs and an overall passer rating of 75.1.
Not exactly stellar until you look at his surroundings: Chivarinni, Abdul-Jabbar, and can anyone name a starting lineman from 1999? I didn’t think so. Tim Couch had some bad breaks but was still able to lead the Browns to the playoffs in 2002.
What makes this one of the top ten moments in Browns draft history is the fact that he was drafted ahead of Donovan McNabb. I know it’s not easy to picture, but Donovan McNabb would have looked good in orange and brown.
9. William Green– In the 2002 NFL draft, Green was drafted No. 16 overall and was the first RB picked. Again, what makes this noteworthy are the RBs drafted after him. Can you say DeShaun Foster and Clinton Portis?
Also worth mentioning are the drug possession and domestic dispute charges (wherein his wife literallystabbed him in the back). But young William Green’s best move as a Brown was the pre-game altercation with the Steelers and the punching of Joey Porter.
8. Braylon Edwards – His rookie year had a slow start, and it wasn’t until year three that he had a real breakthrough. Things were looking pretty nice in Cleveland.
However, Edwards’ fourth season was a record breaker. No WR had ever amassed such numbers. After a healthy 2007 campaign of 16 games 80 receptions for 1,289 yds and 16 TDs, Braylon followed that up with an amazing—no, staggering—16 games and 16 dropped passes.
We’re talking balls in his hands, and a couple that were sure TDs! I’ve seen construction workers with softer hands.
7. Courtney Brown – The No. 1 overall pick in 2000, Brown had an amazing rookie season with 70 tackles and 4.5 sacks. But in his second year he only played five games due to injury and still snagged himself 4.5 sacks.
And that was his peak; it was all downhill from there. In his remaining years with the Browns he added only eight more sacks in 26 games through the 2004 season. Injury after injury kept Brown out until he was finally traded to Denver in ‘05. So much money, so much talent, so many injuries.
6. Gerard Warren– O.K. let’s just forget the fact that they passed on LaDainian Tomlinson and get straight to the fact that Warren is no longer with Cleveland (as are most of the people on this list).
While not necessarily a bust (he’s still in the league, now with Oakland), Warren’s not going down in Browns’ history as the greatest anything. And let’s face it, the money you pay a player drafted third overall ain’t chump change.
5. Eric Wright – This was a steal for a second round pick. Of course he had some off-the-field problems in college, but it seems that is all behind him now. While Wright is not a Pro-Bowler, his presence on the field is beyond numbers.
Still a lot of developing to do, but for a mid second rounder, this has been one of the Browns’ best kept secrets. Drafted ahead of Wright were CBs Leon Hall and Darrelle Revis.
4. Joe Thomas– This is the one and only “WHOO HOO!” moment on this list. Joe Thomas is a great player and off-the-field presence too. He skipped the hoopla that is the NFL draft in favor of fishing with his father (classy, to say the least).
Joe is one of the premier left tackles in the game today and is the only first round draft pick without any controversy to the fans. Not a single off-the-field problem and very rarely will he miss an assignment. I wanted to make this number one on the list, mostly because it is the one shining moment in the past 10 years of Cleveland Browns’ draft picks.
3. Brady Quinn– I know a lot of Browns fans see Brady Quinn as the savior of the Browns franchise, and it is nice to have a hometown kid who grew up as a fan. It makes wonderful headlines. But seriously, he hasn’t proven he can win the big game—not at Notre Dame and especially not in the NFL.
Hell, he can’t even complete a screen pass without jumping to see over the line.
2. 2008 – Well not having a pick in the first three rounds will get you towards the top of the list—especially when everything they gave up was for a backup QB (and as of now, that’s all Brady Quinn is).
1. Kellen Winslow – Now a lot of people think Winslow was great—I see a lot of 80 jerseys at the games. But take a look at all the off-the-field problems and you’ll quickly see why Winslow is far and away No. 1 on this list:
· A physical anomaly, you bet; an off-the-field drama queen just looking for a stage, you got it!
· He played in only one game his rookie season, then followed that up by destroying a motorcycle and himself in one fell swoop.
· The team then gives him an AMAZING bonus for...well; I can’t think of a reason. He then proceeds to claim underpayment and lashes out at the Browns to anyone who will listen.
· This is one player I am truly happy to see head south.