On Thursday, the Cleveland Browns once again admitted that they messed up. 2013 first-round pick Barkevious Mingo is on his way to New England, and Cleveland is headed back to the drawing board. After all, this is what the Browns do. They take highly-regarded talents early in the first round and watch them fail, while other teams pick the players you'd actually want on your team. In fact, since the Browns re-joined the league in 1999, almost every draft pick they've made has flopped. Here is an all-too-depressing look at the history of Cleveland picking in the first round. Sorry, Browns fans.
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1999: QB Tim Couch (first overall)
Couch wasn't a complete bust, of course. He played five seasons in Cleveland and posted a cumulative 75.1 QB rating, completing 59.8 percent of his passes with 64 TDs and 67 INTs. That doesn't take any of the sting out of passing on Donovan McNabb (second overall), Edgerrin James (fourth), Torry Holt (sixth), Champ Bailey (seventh), Daunte Culpepper (11th) or even Ricky Williams (fifth).
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2000: DE Courtney Brown (first overall)
Brown missed double-digit games in two of his five years with the Browns, totaling just 19 career sacks and 155 tackles. He had his best season in 2003, when Brown forced four fumbles and tallied six stacks. Cleveland could have taken Brian Urlacher (ninth overall), instead.
Getty ImagesGeorge Gojkovich
2001: DT Gerard Warren (third overall)
On the bright side, Warren started 59 out of 64 possible games during his time with Cleveland. He showed some promise in his rookie season with five sacks, 48 tackes and six passes defensed. Sadly, that was his best season in the NFL. Even worse, the Browns picked Warren over LaDainian Tomlinson (fifth overall), one of the greatest running backs of the past 20 years.
Getty ImagesDoug Pensinger
2002: RB William Green (16th overall)
At least the Browns didn't waste a top-five pick in 2002, when they selected Green out of Boston College. After Green rushed for 887 yards on 243 carries as a rookie, everything went downhill. He was out of the league by 2005 — unlike Ed Reed (24th overall), who could have been a franchise cornerstone for Cleveland.
Getty ImagesDavid Maxwell
2003: C Jeff Faine (21st overall)
Coming off their first winning season since returning to the NFL in 1999, the Browns looked to shore up their offensive line and make the playoffs for a second straight year. Faine had a solid career, but he played just three seasons for the Browns before Cleveland signed LeCharles Bentley and traded Faine to the Saints. Cleveland passed on RB Willis McGahee (23rd overall), TE Dallas Clark (24th) and DB Charles Tillman (35th) to take Faine.
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2004: TE Kellen Winslow Jr. (sixth overall)
Winslow had a few nice seasons for Cleveland before packing his bags and moving on to Tampa Bay in 2009. First, though, he had to battle through a broken right leg suffered during his rookie year and a motorcycle accident that cost him all of 2005. As Winslow recovered, the Browns had to watch Ben Roethlisberger (11th overall) blossom into one of the league's best QBs.
2005: WR Braylon Edwards (third overall)
In a surprising twist, this wasn't a particularly egregious pick. Edwards played well for the Browns, hauling in 16 TD catches and 1,289 yards receiving as a Pro Bowler in 2007. However, Edwards quickly became sick of all the losing in Cleveland and was traded to the Jets in 2009. The first round of the 2005 draft wasn't especially deep, but the Browns could have selected stalwart LB DeMarcus Ware (11th overall) instead of Edwards — or, you know, picked that Aaron Rodgers guy (24th overall) to play QB. Whatever, though.
Getty ImagesChris Trotman
2006: DE/OLM Kamerion Wimbley (13th overall)
2006 was a straight miss by the Browns. They identified a crucial area of need at pass rusher, then picked the wrong player. Wimbley had a great rookie season as he moved from DE in college to OLB in a 3-4 in Cleveland, but he struggled as a sophomore and eventually flamed out of the league. DE Tamba Hali (20th overall) would have been a fantastic pick instead.
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2007: T Joe Thomas (third overall)
No quibbles here. This is the one pick the Browns absolutely nailed. Unfortunately ...
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2007: QB Brady Quinn (22nd overall)
Cleveland needed a quarterback in 2007. They almost got one in the incredibly lifelike wax statue named "Brady Quinn." Scientists are still baffled by this inanimate object's ability to throw passes. Although there weren't really any QBs the Browns could have picked over Quinn, they did pass on Dwayne Bowe (23rd overall) and underrated G Ben Grubbs (29th), who could have helped Cleveland keep its QBs upright rather than watching them become one with the turf over and over again.
2008: No first-round picks
Greatest Browns draft ever.
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2009: C Alex Mack (21st overall)
Like Thomas in 2007, Mack (whom the Browns acquired in a pick swap that netted Cleveland a sixth-rounder, as well) has been a pick well spent. It's that whole "a blind squirrel finds a nut" cliche in action. To be fair, however, the Browns did pass on LB Clay Matthews (26th overall) and RB LeSean McCoy (53rd).
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2010: DB Joe Haden (seventh overall)
The turn of the most-recent decade truly was a golden age in Cleveland. While the 2010 draft was loaded, there's no reason to regret taking Haden — assuming he comes back at 100 precent from the ankle injury he suffered last year.
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2011: DL Phil Taylor (21st overall)
Yet another defensive lineman who had his best season as a rookie before falling off a cliff, Taylor signed with the Broncos this offseason and is currently battling a knee injury he suffered in training camp. You know who's been healthy, though? Muhammad Wilkerson (30th overall), who has clearly outperformed Taylor on the defensive line. More importantly, the Browns passed on QB Andy Dalton (35th) because of Colt McCoy's presence on the roster. Oops.
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2012: RB Trent Richardson (third overall)
It's not just that Richardson ended up flopping in the league after one solid season in Cleveland, or that the Browns could have selected LB Luke Kuechly (ninth overall) instead. Drafting Richardson set the wheels in motion for the 2014 daft — and the selection of Johnny Football. After the 2012 season, Cleveland traded Richardson to the Colts for the 26th pick in 2014, which the Browns in turn parlayed into the 22nd pick, where they selected Mr. Manziel.
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2012: QB Brandon Weeden (22nd overall)
One year after the Browns passed on Dalton in favor of sticking with McCoy, they realized what a horrible decision they'd made and tried to set things right. There absolutely was a franchise QB in the 2012 draft, but it wasn't Weeden. 53 picks later, Russell Wilson came off the board and left Cleveland shaking its head yet again. The Browns were never going to take Wilson in the first round (no team did, obviously), but they could have selected LB Dont'a Hightower and taken a chance on Wilson in the second round.
Getty ImagesJason Miller
2013: LB Barkevious Mingo (sixth overall)
After three disappointing seasons in which he started just 16 games and tallied seven sacks, Mingo is on his way to New England — where he'll probably turn into an outstanding player, since that would just be the Browns' luck. Although we're reluctant to draw definitive conclusions about the players Cleveland passed over just three years later, the Browns have to be kicking themselves for not picking G Kyle Long (20th overall).
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2014: DB Justin Gilbert (eighth overall)
There's still time, of course, but Gilbert has been a clear disappointment since the Browns used a top-ten pick on him two years ago. Compared to guys like WR Odell Beckham (12th overall) or DT Aaron Donald (13th), that mistake becomes even more painful.
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2014: QB Johnny Manziel (22nd overall)
I won't dwell on Manziel's time in the national spotlight, since things have often turned very ugly for the former Texas A&M standout. I will, however, point out that either Teddy Bridgewater (32nd overall) or Derek Carr (36th) would have been a much, much better QB pick for the Browns in 2014. Then again, a ham sandwich would have been a better pick, too.
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2015 and beyond
It's simply too soon to weigh in on DT Danny Shelton (2015, 12th overall), C Cameron Erving (2015, 19th overall), or WR Corey Coleman (2016, 15th overall), but one has to point out that the Browns passed on the 2015 Defensive Rookie of the Year, CB Marcus Peters (18th overall), to take Erving just one pick later. It's yet another draft pick that could come back to haunt the Browns — and that's what defines this franchise more than anything else.