With the 2013 NFL draft fast approaching, the speculation about what will happen is all around us. Just spend a few minutes on Twitter, ESPN, or any sports talk radio and the issue is bound to come up.
Everyone is excited about who their team may pick, but sometimes that excitement turns into disappointment. Sometimes a player does not make the contributions they are expected to. Let's take a look at some of the Cleveland Browns' worst picks since 1999 and hope that the new guys in charge do not repeat the mistakes of the past.
Let's be honest: seventh-round picks are kind of a shot in the dark. Rarely do they turn into great players, and many of them see their NFL dreams end before they even get to see a real game. It would be easy to give you a list of such players and leave this slide at that, but I think it is more fun to find players who were given a chance and played poorly. So here they are:
The Worst: Madre Hill
The final pick of the "new Browns" in 1999, Hill spent one year with the team. He also got a chance to play, returning eight kicks. Hill posted a lowly 17.1 average on those returns, never breaking one for more than 27 yards. To put that in perspective, the worst team average in 2012 was 19.8 yards per return.
Honorable Mention: Adimchinobe Echemandu
Drafted in the seventh round of 2004, Echemandu spent just one season with the Browns. He had a few chances, touching the ball 11 times (eight carries, 3 receptions). He averaged just over three yards per carry, and despite the low number of touches, he also fumbled once.
He spent 2005-2007 bouncing around the league. Carrying the ball 20 more times, with two receptions and another fumble.
The Worst: Spergon Wynn
A name that will forever live in infamy in the minds of Browns fans, Spergon Wynn was picked 183rd overall in the 2000 NFL draft. This made Wynn the last quarterback taken before future Hall of Famer Tom Brady, and Browns fans still wonder what may have been had they gone with the QB out of Michigan.
As for Wynn's performance, he completed just over 40 percent of his passes his rookie season, with no touchdowns and one interception. He spent the 2001 season with the Minnesota Vikings, where he would improve his accuracy in completing 49 percent of his passes; however, he threw six more interceptions and just one touchdown.
His career QB rating would end at 39.5, and he finished with just one touchdown, seven interceptions and five fumbles.
Honorable Mention: Paul Hubbard
A receiver out of Wisconsin, Hubbard was a part of Phil Savage's infamous 2008 draft. Hubbard did not record a stat in his stint with the Browns, however he did catch one pass for eight yards with the Buffalo Bills in 2010.
Hubbard then went on to get a DWI after running into a police officer. Hubbard was signed by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL in May 2012, and was released in June of that same year.
Pharms spent time in the Arena league after being released from prison
The Worst: Jeremiah Pharms
A fifth-round pick in 2001, Jeremiah Pharms would never get a chance to play for the Cleveland Browns. Before reporting to training camp, Pharms was arrested and sentenced to 41 months in prison for first-degree robbery.
He made an attempt to stay in shape while in prison with the thought that he could still make it in the NFL, but he never got that chance.
Honorable Mention: David McMillan
Drafted in 2005, the Browns though they had something in McMillan. The team kept him around for three seasons and he saw action in 28 games, but he was only ever able to record 8 tackles and a fumble recovery.
The Worst: Beau Bell
After a 2007 season that saw the Browns go 10-6 and nearly make the playoffs, then GM Phil Savage thought he saw a window of opportunity. He had traded his first-round pick in 2008 to acquire Brady Quinn the previous draft, and followed that up by trading his second-rounder to Green Bay for Corey Williams, as well as his third rounder in a package to Detroit for Shaun Rogers . This made Bell the Browns top pick that year.
The UNLV linebacker spent exactly one year with the Browns, recording three tackles and forcing a fumble in five games. He was spent packing along with Phil Savage and Romeo Crennel after the 2008 season. He never played another down in the NFL.
Honorable Mention: Martin Rucker
A part of that same 2008 draft class, Rucker contributed just about as much as Bell did. Tallying two receptions and 17 yards. However unlike Rucker, Bell has bounced around the league since being released from the Browns, most recently with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2012.
The Worst: Travis Wilson
After being drafted in the third round of the 2006 draft, Travis Wilson promptly claimed he was "the best receiver in the draft." A look at his career suggests otherwise, as Wilson only managed to catch two passes in his three years with the Browns.
He felt he was so good, in fact, that he held out for the first three days of training camp. Whatever the team ended up paying him, it was far too much.
Honorable Mention: Travis Prentice
Prentice entered the NFL coming off a career at Miami (OH) in which he set a slew of NCAA records, including career rushing touchdowns, total touchdowns, and points. As the first pick of the third round in 2000, the Browns obviously expected more out of Prentice than they got.
Despite starting 11 games at running back his rookie season, Prentice only managed three yards per carry . Prentice was traded to the Minnesota Vikings, where he spent the 2001 season adding just 13 yards on 14 carries.
The Worst: David Veikune
In what has to go down as one of the worst rounds of any draft in NFL history, Eric Mangini picked LB David Veikune out of Hawaii. Veikune was the third of the three second-round picks the Browns had in 2009, and he was easily the worst.
Veikune only spent one season with the Browns, not recording a stat despite being credited with playing in 10 games. He spent 2010 with the Denver Broncos, where he recorded five tackles. Like so many other Browns draft busts, he is currently playing in the Canadian Football League.
Runner Up: Brian Robiskie
The first of the Browns second-round picks in 2009, Robiskie was supposed to be the most "NFL ready" receiver of the draft. The son of former Browns coach Terry Robiskie and a product of Ohio State, fans had extremely high hopes.
However Brian was a disappointment in Cleveland, spending just two full years with the team. He has since spent time with the Jaguars and Lions.
The Worst: Courtney Brown
The No. 1 pick in the 2000 draft, Courtney Brown was supposed to be a dominant force along the defensive line. He was supposed to wreak havoc on opposing offenses. He did a decent enough job when he was on the field, but not what you would expect from your No. 1 overall pick.
He also had injury problems, and he was never able to live up to what was expected of him. His NFL career lasted just six years, and he recorded more than five sacks in a season just once (six of them, in 2003).
Brady Quinn: With his free-fall in the 2007 NFL draft, the Browns decided to make a trade with the Cowboys to get back into the first round and take what they viewed as a franchise QB. This cost the Browns their second round pick in 2007, as well as their first round pick the following year. As it turned out, Quinn was not worth those picks.
After a holdout his rookie season, he was constantly locked into a battle with Derek Anderson for the starting position. He started three games in 2008 and nine in 2009, but ended his career in Cleveland with just a 64.4 QB rating while completing 53.1 percent of his passes.
He spent 2012 trying to prove he could still be an NFL quarterback with the Chiefs, but they went just 1-7 in his eight starts.
Thank you for reading. As always I appreciate any comments or discussions.
You can follow me on Twitter @deg4, and Go Browns!