While nothing is certain, and Cleveland Browns fans are understandably cautious, northeast Ohio’s struggling franchise is hopefully headed in the right direction. For a couple of decades, that rarely seemed possible.
With the NFL draft right around the corner, bad memories for the Browns faithful are bound to come up. It seemed like year after year mistakes were made, some of them seemed obvious immediately while others took a year or two to prove themselves out. Cleveland fans don’t keep a list on paper but each has decisions that stick with them.
QB Johnny Manziel was, by far it seems, the mistake that drew the most attention. The Heisman Trophy-winning, boisterous signal caller from Texas A&M played just two seasons in the NFL. For his career, last playing at the age of 23, Manziel played in just 14 games with eight starts.
According to the 33rd Team, that makes Manziel the Browns worst draft decision:
The draft is an imperfect science after all pic.twitter.com/FhDgoVVfSu— The 33rd Team (@The33rdTeamFB) April 11, 2023
While Manziel is likely to draw the most attention, given that he was selected with the 22nd overall pick he may not make the team’s top five worst decisions since the return in 1999:
- Tim Couch failed with a bad offensive line as the #1 overall pick
- Injuries failed Courtney Brown
- Motivation and drive failed “Big Money” Gerard Warren
- Kellen Winslow was failed by his motorcycle skills
- Failing to catch the ball limited 3rd overall pick Braylon Edwards
- Trading down one spot, instead of drafting Haloti Ngata, with the Baltimore Ravens was a huge failure in 2006
- Brady Quinn was too muscular to play quarterback
- Dancing instead of hitting the hole was Trent Richardson’s specialty but at least the team got a first-round pick back for him
- In the same draft as Richardson, almost 30-year-old Brandon Weeden was a huge whiff
- Justin Gilbert played one season longer but was selected much higher (8th overall) in the same draft as Manziel
- Like Edwards but without decent route running or size, Corey Coleman’s hands also failed him leading to just 61 receptions for 789 yards in his three seasons in the league
Picking from that list, just since 1999, is tough but Manziel is not at the top. For me, trading down to allow the Ravens to take Ngata sticks out as, perhaps, the worst decision overall. Drafting Weeden was dumb the minute it happened and the team’s first three selections after the return failing just doomed that decade.
What do you think is the Browns worst draft decision ever?