The Cleveland Browns have had an impressive 26 first round picks since their return in 1999. What they have done with those 26 picks however, has been far from impressive. I initially wanted to write this piece as a way to rip on all the busts and flubs over the years but I feel that dead horse has been beaten enough. Instead I decided to create a list of 1st rounders based solely on games they started for the Browns. We all know that not all of the disappointments have been due to poor play or skills. Just like all normal NFL teams, Cleveland has had its fair share of injuries, motorcycle accidents, fights with LeBron’s entourage, drug issues, and players literally being stabbed in the back by their fiancees.
With that being said, I was still disappointed to see that only 3 players have ever started more than 80 games for the Orange & Brown. That is the equivalent of 5 seasons. Not exactly setting the bar too high. Those 3, along with their games started, were:
Joe Thomas- 167
Alex Mack- 101
Joe Haden- 81
Since 1999, more men have become the President of the United States than 1st round picks have started 5 seasons worth of games for the Browns.
If you go beyond that, there are only 4 other players who started at least 48 games for the Browns. That’s 3 seasons worth for you scoring at home. Those 4 are:
Kamerion Wimbley- 62
Tim Couch- 59
Gerard Warren- 59
Braylon Edwards- 58
What a sad state of affairs when Kamerion Wimbley was arguably the fourth most valuable 1st round draft pick the Browns have made in the last 20 years.
On the flip side, Cleveland GM’s have selected 8 players who started fewer than 2 seasons worth of games (32). Thats even after excluding players drafted after 2015. Those 8 were:
Justin Gilbert- 3
Johnny Manziel- 8
Brady Quinn- 12
Barkevious Mingo- 16
Cam Erving- 17
Trent Richardson- 17
Brandon Weeden- 20
William Green- 30
*I feel I could technically include Corey Coleman (18 starts) who was drafted in 2016, but is no longer with the team.
More 1st rounders played fewer than 2 seasons worth of games than guys who played more than 3 years (worth of games). That is absolutely bonkers. Most of these guys started more games in college than with the team who drafted them. Heck, I’ve eaten more Chicken McNuggets since starting this article than most of these guys have games started. Let’s just hope that Dorsey and the Boys have it all figured out now.