Gerard Warren was a tough one to rank. There was no doubt in my mind that he belonged on the bust side of this list, but the doubt came in how close to the top of the list he should be ranked. He was the third overall pick in the draft, meaning he will have been the highest-drafted person on this list. Warren never lived up to the dominant expectations of a third overall pick. His nickname was "Big Money," conveying a sense of arrogance that I would usually prefer the Browns try to stay away from.
It didn't matter to Butch Davis though, who must have been intrigued by the flashes of brilliance Warren showed in college. Warren brought some of that brilliance during his time in Cleveland, which is why he is not ranked as the top bust on this list. The consistency at which he was a dominant force on the defensive line was not there though. For every small stretch of, "wow, this guy was worth it!", there would be several stretches of, "what the hell are we paying this guy so much money for?"
Warren is still around in the NFL today, which is a testament to the physical specimen he can be. He has held on to starting roles elsewhere, but he has never come close to making a Pro Bowl in his career.
Warren made headlines in 2004 prior to facing Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, when he said, "If you kill the head, the body’s dead." Warren also had a weird period where he tried to change his nickname to "Big Penny" instead of "Big Money." Don't get me wrong, I liked the fact that Warren could bring a nasty streak and had the potential to give the Browns a tough reputation up front on defense, but it just never came to fruition. He had some games where his pass rushing was good, but the team's run defense failed to improve and his final season was not very eventful.
I'm sure many of you will have varying opinions as to where Warren should be on this list. Maybe you feel he did enough to not be listed at all, but rather as one of my "intermediate" players (Tim Couch). Sound off!
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