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Cleveland Browns NFL Draft History: Ranking Cleveland's Draft Picks Since 1999

Brian MurtaughAnalyst IJanuary 1, 2017

Cleveland Browns NFL Draft History: Ranking Cleveland's Draft Picks Since 1999

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    The Cleveland Browns organization has been plagued by terrible draft classes ever since they re-entered the NFL in 1999.

    Cleveland has spent top picks in seemingly every draft and has not had much luck finding consistent play makers to contribute to the teams' success.

    The following list ranks every Browns first-round draft pick since 1999 and gives a little insight into what the franchise has gone through since moving to Baltimore in 1996.

    The list begins with William Green...

No. 12: William Green

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    Willy Green was taken by the Cleveland Browns with the 16th overall pick of the 2002 NFL Draft.

    Coming out of Boston College, Green seemed to have everything an NFL runningback could need.

    He had great size, speed and athletic ability. Unfortunately none of it transferred to the professional level.

    Green played a total of four seasons in Cleveland and appeared in 46 games. He ended his Browns career in 2005 with a total of 568 carried for a little over 2,000 yards and nine touchdowns.

    Those numbers were good enough to get him the title of worst Browns draft pick since '99.

    Green's biggest issues came off the field as he was arrested on charges of drunk driving, drug possession  and domestic disputes on different occasions.

    Green has not played in the NFL since 2005 but said as recently as 2008 he would like to come back to try to continue his career.

    He certainly will not get an offer from the Browns.

No. 11: Courtney Brown

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    Courtney Brown was the most highly decorated defensive player to enter the NFL Draft since Cleveland was reinstated in 1999.

    Playing his college ball at Penn State, Brown recorded 33 sacks and 70 tackles for a loss covering his entire college career and was named to the All-Big Ten team on two separate occasions.

    Cleveland was so impressed with Brown they took him first overall in the 2000 NFL draft.

    Brown was so unimpressive with Cleveland the Browns shipped him to Denver only five seasons later.

    While playing for Cleveland, Brown has some good seasons and some forgettable ones.

    2003 was arguably his best season with Cleveland as Brown recorded six sacks but only 29 total tackles.

    Injuries plagued Brown's tenure with Cleveland as he only played five games in the 2001 season and ended his Cleveland career with only two games played in 2004.

No. 10: Brady Quinn

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    Brady Quinn was a hometown hero brought in to resurrect the Cleveland Browns from the dark cloud of professional football obscurity.

    Unfortunately, Brady Quinn had other plans.

    Quinn was taken 22nd in the 2007 NFL draft as Cleveland traded up to acquire him.

    The Browns only used Quinn once during his first season with the team, and that was enough to get people claiming a quarterback controversy.

    It only took three games in 2008 for Quinn to gain support from Browns followers as chants like "Quinn to win"  and "We are the Brady bunch" began to be heard from the seats of Cleveland Browns Stadium.

    Quinn did not have any consistent playing time until 2009 when he officially took over the starting job.

    In 10 games, Quinn posted a record of just 2-7 (only nine starts) and threw 10 touchdowns against nine interceptions.

    Browns fans tried as hard as they could to support Quinn, blaming the teams misfortunes on a lack of talent surrounding the young quarterback.

    Early in the 2009 offseason it looked as though the Browns finally decided on Quinn as the quarterback of the future when the team released Derek Anderson.

    However, that notion was short-lived when Cleveland traded Quinn to the Denver Broncos a short time later.

No. 9: Gerard Warren

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    Gerard Warren looked as though he would become a complete defensive monster when he set foot into Cleveland Browns stadium in 2001.

    Taken with the third overall pick in the 2001 draft, Warren came out of the University of Florida with nearly 160 tackles and 9.5 sacks in three seasons.

    It seemed Warren would continue that success with the Browns as he started 15 games for Cleveland in his rookie season and recorded five sacks.

    The only problem was Warrens' numbers never really improved beyond that point.

    Throughout Warrens' four seasons with the Browns he started in 59 games and recorded 16.5 sacks.

    Cleveland eventually parted ways with Warren as the team traded him to the Denver Broncos for a fifth-round draft pick.

    Warren would go on to play for the Broncos as well as the Oakland Raiders and New England Patriots.

No. 8: Kamerion Wimbley

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    Kamerion Wimbley was selected by the Browns as the 13th overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft.

    Wimbley made an immediate impact in his first season recording 11 sacks and 44 tackles to go along with one forced fumble.

    Cleveland looked to have a defensive star on their hands, but Wimbley was never able to repeat the successes of his rookie season.

    The Browns kept Wimbley around for three more seasons as he collected 16.5 sacks and started in 47 games.

    Eventually former Browns coach Eric Mangini decided Wimbley did not fit into his defensive plans and traded him to Oakland for a third-round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.

    Cleveland would eventually use that pick on Colt McCoy.

No. 7: Jeff Faine

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    Jeff Faine was a solid center for the Cleveland Browns for three seasons after being drafted by the team as the 21st overall pick in 2003.

    Faine had good size at 303 pounds and used every bit of it to his advantage while he started in 26 games for Cleveland between 2003-2006.

    The Browns traded Faine away during the 2006 NFL draft to the New Orleans Saints.

    Faine would go on to spend three years in New Orleans and earn his only Pro Bowl appearance.

No. 6: Tim Couch

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    Tim Couch was going to be the player that the Cleveland Browns were going to build their franchise around for years to come.

    Selected first overall by the 1999 expansion Browns, Couch was an offensive spectacle at the University of Kentucky as he threw for 74 touchdowns and over 8,000 yards throughout his college career.

    Cleveland was certain Couch was the man for the job and made their intentions clear weeks before the Draft ever started.

    Couch started in 14 games his rookie season as he connected on 15 touchdown passes opposed to 13 interceptions. He also was sacked a total of 56 times as it was clear the Browns offensive line was not nearly up to par.

    Couch only managed to lead the Browns to a 2-12 record that season but the organization was confident he was developing nicely.

    His second year, Couch only played in seven games as the beatings he took from opposing defenses finally started to wear on him.

    Over the next three seasons, Couch was the starter for Cleveland but remained inconsistent and threw just as many (or more) interceptions as touchdowns every year.

    Cleveland and Couch would eventually part ways in 2004 as the Browns decided to go with Kelly Holcomb as their quarterback for the 2004-2005 season.

    Couch ended his career after a brief stint on the Green Bay Packers practice squad and a failed tryout with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

No. 5: Braylon Edwards

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    Braylon Edwards is easily the best wide receiver the Cleveland Browns have had since 1999.

    Even though he did not have much competition against him.

    Taken with the third overall pick in 2005, Edwards spent four seasons with the Browns from 2005-2008 and scored 28 touchdowns over spanning that time period.

    The disappointing fact about that statistic is 16 of those touchdowns came in one single season.

    Edwards was traded to the New York Jets shortly after the 2008 season as people began to question his motivation and even went as far as to say he was dropping passes on purpose to spite the Cleveland Browns' quarterbacks.

    Since leaving Cleveland, Edwards has had success with the New York Jets while being used mostly as a No. 2 receiver behind Santonio Holmes.

No. 4: Kellen Winslow II

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    Kellen Winslow was the best offensive threat the Cleveland Browns possessed from the moment he stepped on the field to the day he was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    The Browns took Winslow sixth overall in 2004 after he was called the "second coming of the Winslow tradition" by ESPN analysts.

    Winslow used his great size and good hands to his advantage as he caught over 200 passes and 11 touchdowns in just four seasons with the Browns.

    Unfortunately most of his time spent in Cleveland was plagued by injury after a leg issue sidelined him in 2004, a motorcycle accident in 2005 and reports of staph infections keeping him sidelined for a few games in later years.

    Winslow has since had a great career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers helping to mold Josh Freeman and bringing the Bucs back out of the NFL cellar.

No. 3: Joe Haden

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    Joe Haden was drafted by the Browns as the seventh overall pick in last years' NFL draft.

    Even though Joe Haden has only had one season with the Cleveland Browns, it was one that has offered great optimism for the future of his career.

    Haden got off to a slow start adjusting to NFL wide receivers but eventually found a way to return to his college form, recording one sack and seven interceptions.

    Haden and fellow rookie T.J. Ward created headaches for opposing defenses all season and Cleveland can only hope he continues developing and turns into the corner they always hope he can be.

No. 2: Alex Mack

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    Alex Mack was acquired by the Browns at the 22nd overall pick in 2009 after Cleveland traded down on numerous occasions.

    Mack has been a steady starter for Cleveland as he finally gave the Browns some much needed stability among the middle of the offensive line.

    Mack has developed nicely in his first two years and even made his first Pro Bowl in 2010 after starting all 16 games.

    Mack has only been getting better with experience and should be a great lineman for years to come.

No. 1: Joe Thomas

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    Joe Thomas may forever be remembered as the man who went fishing with his dad rather than attending the 2007 NFL draft in Radio City Music Hall.

    Thomas was selected by Cleveland third overall and fans rejoiced as they watched the long-time Wisconsin monster dawn a Browns hat for the first time over national television.

    Since that day Thomas has not disappointed as he has made the Pro Bowl in every season and has helped the Browns offense cut down on sacks allowed tremendously.

    Joe Thomas is by far the most successful Browns first-round draft pick since 1999.

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