The Cleveland Browns have been a dismal franchise for years — they have never been to a Super Bowl, they haven’t reached the playoffs since 2002, and they haven’t won a playoff game since 1994. Cleveland has some of the best fans in the NFL, but they are rarely rewarded with a great product on the field. The biggest reason Cleveland has struggled for so many years is their lack of production from the QB position.
Since 1999, Cleveland has started 20 different quarterbacks, which is unbelievable. I could list all 20, but you would need Wikipedia to figure out who most of them are. I will just say that the most successful QB during that time span is Derrick Anderson. The sad thing for Browns fans is that they have had multiple opportunities to get great QBs, but it has not happened yet.
In the 1999 NFL draft, Cleveland had the No. 1 pick and used their selection to take QB Tim Couch. In five seasons, Couch had 64 TD’s and 67 INTs. The No. 2 pick in the 1999 draft was QB Donavan McNabb, who led the Philadelphia Eagles to five NFC Championship games.
In 2004, Cleveland used their first round pick on TE Kellen Winslow. A few picks later, the Pittsburgh Steelers selected QB Ben Roethlisberger. Roethlisberger has led Pittsburgh to three Super Bowls, two of which they won.
In 2005, Cleveland selected Braylon Edwards and passed on Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers has won an NFL MVP, a Super Bowl MVP, and is widely considered one of the four best QBs in the NFL.
In 2011, Cleveland used their first found pick, No. 25 overall on Phil Taylor. Eight picks later, the San Francisco 49ers selected Collin Kapernick. Kapernick has led the 49ers to two straight NFC Championships and a Super Bowl appearance.
Now, here we are a couple of months away from the NFL draft where the Cleveland Browns will have another choice to make. I believe there is a good chance that one of the options for Cleveland will be QB Johnny Manziel, but latest reports are that the Browns are not interested in the Texas A&M QB.
My question is, why not? I believe Manziel is going to be a special player in the NFL and if the Browns were to select him, they would instantly become a contender in the AFC North. If Cleveland passes on Manziel, it will be a decision that they will regret for years to come.
I would love to be able to tell Browns fans that this is just a smoke screen and that they will end up taking Manziel with the fourth overall pick in the draft, but I cannot do that. Cleveland has two months to decide what to do on draft night. However, if history tells us anything, then in typical Browns’ fashion, they will pass on the future star QB and for the next decade, Cleveland fans will be forced to wonder what might have been.