The Cleveland Browns have had quite a history of drafting quarterbacks since they came back into the league in 1999. Watching the Johnny Manziel situation play out during Round 1 of the NFL Draft made you think back to Brady Quinn even before the Browns picked him up in the exact same spot they picked Quinn that year. How could you not want to stroll down memory lane at the quarterbacks the Browns have drafted since 1999?
1999 Tim Couch
The Browns came back into the league and made Tim Couch the number one overall pick in the 1999 NFL Draft. He was a Heisman Trophy runner-up at Kentucky and subsequently got battered and beaten in Cleveland for five seasons that included one playoff appearance, in which he had to watch from the sidelines with a broken leg.
2004 Luke McCown
In the 2004 NFL Draft the Browns had the opportunity to draft Ohio-native Ben Roethlisberger with the 6th pick but instead went with TE Kellen Winslow. In the fourth round of that draft they picked Luke McCown out of Louisiana Tech. McCown started 4 games for the Browns and then was traded to the Buccaneers in 2005.
2005 Charlie Frye
The Browns decided to go the native-Ohioan route in the 2005 draft when they selected Charlie Frye in the third round out of Akron. Frye started 5 games his rookie year and then was named the starter for the 2006 season. By 2007, he only had one start left and was traded to Seattle.
2007 Brady Quinn
The similarities between the 2007 draft and 2014 draft are pretty entertaining. The Browns had 2 first round picks in each draft, but in 2007 they drafted OT Joe Thomas with the 3rd pick and then Brady Quinn with the 22nd. The shots of Manziel and Quinn looking around, taking sips of water between picks waiting for their names to be called are pretty identical. Quinn was 3rd on the depth chart behind Charlie Frye and Derek Anderson. An early bed-crapping by Frye led the Browns to trade him to Seattle, thus moving Brady up the line. Quinn started the final game of that season. Quinn battled, badly, with Anderson for the starting position until the Browns traded him to Denver.
2010 Colt McCoy
The Derek Anderson era ended in 2010 and the Browns drafted Colt McCoy in the third round of the 2010 NFL Draft. Colt was first a backup to Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace but got the chance to start in 2011 before his season ended with a knockout in a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. McCoy then spent the 2012 season backing up Brandon Weeden before the Browns ultimately traded him to San Francisco.
2012 Brandon Weeden
In 2012 the Browns had 2 first-round picks again in the NFL Draft. They selected RB Trent Richardson with the third overall pick and picked up Brandon Weeden in, you guessed it, the 22nd spot. Weeden played four years of minor league baseball before enrolling in Oklahoma State and was redshirted his freshmen year, making him 28 when he was drafted. Weeden started all but one game in 2012 and had an awful 2013, prompting the Browns to release him after the season. He has since been signed to a two year contract by the Dallas Cowboys.
2014 Johnny Manziel
All those highlights have brought the Browns to where they are now, with Manziel drafted and instantly becoming a top-jersey seller in the NFL. And then naturally Browns owner Jimmy Haslam says that Manziel will start as a backup. Because of course he will.
Only time will tell if the Browns’ latest 22nd pick will have a different fate than the previous ones. The current Browns front office can’t even bear most of the fault for all of these previous failures as the Browns change coaches and general managers quicker than they change quarterbacks. Perhaps the former Browns quarterbacks should get together to form a support group, or better yet, a reality show. I think we’d all like to see what happens when six Browns quarterback draft picks start getting real.