The Browns’ First-Round Draft Picks Since 1999
Part of the struggles that can be attributed in the Browns lack of success since their return, is their first-round draft selections not panning out.
The Browns have had many first-round draft picks since 1999 that have not only been poor choices, but set the franchise back for many years after their selection.
This can be attributed to poor front office structure and scouting.
Their handling of the NFL Draft, particularly the first round, often has more to do with the team’s struggles than anything else.
1999 – Tim Couch
The very first draft choice by the post-1999 Browns was Tim Couch.
As a quarterback, couch earned 11,131 yards but was unable to make the Browns a consistently competitive franchise.
2000 – Courtney Brown
As a defensive end out of Penn State, Courtney Brown looked to improve the Browns’ flagging defense. However, he has been rated the biggest draft bust in Cleveland history due to being chosen with the first pick.
2001 – Gerard Warren
Drafted third out of Florida, Gerard Warren was a steady defensive presence for a struggling Browns squad and played 11 total seasons at the position.
2002 – William Green
Drafted 16th in the first round, William Green was supposed to transform the Browns’ running game.
However, injuries and inconsistencies made him a bust.
2003 – Jeff Faine
With the 21st pick, the Browns chose center Jeff Faine.
A Notre Dame player, he brought some strength and stability to a still struggling offensive line.
2004 – Kellen Winslow II
Kellen Winslow II was a highly talented and very promising player coming out of Miami.
The Browns needed receivers badly this year and chose Winslow with the sixth pick.
After a career season in 2007, Winslow became inconsistent and was later convicted of rape.
2005 – Braylon Edwards
This talented receiver from Michigan had a few good years with the Browns, but not enough production to warrant his draft position.
Edwards helped to enhance the Browns struggling receiving corps even further.
Chosen third in this year’s draft, Edwards later went on to play in the 2007 Pro Bowl.
2006 – Kamerion Wimbley
After an improved 2005 season, the Browns had the 13th pick of the draft in 2006.
They chose Kameron Wimbley as a linebacker. While a solid player, he was traded away in 2009.
2007 – Joe Thomas and Brady Quinn
The Browns chose offensive tackle Joe Thomas with the third pick of the draft.
A great choice: he provided stability and strength to the front line and stayed with the team. Choosing quarterback Brady Quinn with the 22nd pick was not a great choice as he left the team in 2009.
2009 – Alex Mack
After having no first-round pick in 2018, the Browns chose center Alex Mack with the 21st pick.
Mack was a steady presence for the team but later embarrassed them by taking a pay cut to sign with the Atlanta Falcons in 2016.
2010 – Joe Haden
Cornerback Joe Haden was a strong player for the Browns and a solid selection at seventh pick in the first round but struggled with injuries at times.
2011 – Phil Taylor
Cleveland selected Phil Taylor with the 21st pick of the first round.
Taylor provided strength and stability as a defensive tackle but was released in 2015 to join the Broncos and Redskins.
2012 – Trent Richardson and Brandon Weeden
Neither did well for the team.
2013 – Barkevious Mingo
Barkevious Mingo was highly touted after his draft. But fans considered him a bust, although he went on to win a Super Bowl with the New England Patriots in 2016.
2014 – Justin Gilbert and Johnny Manziel
The Browns continued to struggle in the draft in 2014. Cornerback Justin Gilbert was traded after two years, in spite of being chosen eighth.
And quarterback Johnny Manziel (chosen 22nd) only won two games before being let go.
2015 – Danny Shelton and Cameron Erving
Neither play with the team anymore.
2016 – Corey Coleman
The Browns desperately needed a wide receiver in 2016 when they picked Coleman at 15th in the draft.
Apparently, he was not the answer, as he was gone shortly after that.
2017 – Myles Garrett, Jabrill Peppers, and David Njoku
2018 – Baker Mayfield and Denzel Ward
Both players are still with the team and look to have promising careers moving forward.
Ward made the pro bowl as a rookie and looks to be a bright spot for the Browns secondary.
Mayfield had a stellar rookie season as well as he looks to cement his future as the Browns franchise quarterback.