The Cleveland Browns have been bottom feeders in the NFL for longer than I can remember. The only thing the Browns are worse at than actually playing football, is evaluating quarterback talent. You got to hand it to them for trying, they have tried multiple times, but unfortunately have yet to find their man (maybe Deshone Kizer is there guy!).
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Below is a list made up of 10 of the best QBs the Browns have passed on over the past 5 years of NFL Drafts.
10. MITCHELL TRUBISKY – (Drafted in 2017, passed on him 1 time)
The Browns, for whatever reason, just don’t like taking a QB with their perennial top 5 pick. They held true to that belief when they opted to take a pass rusher over a potential franchise quarterback in last year’s Draft. Obviously, the jury is still out on Mitch Trubisky, but he’s a raw talent who has improved steadily each week for the Bears. The fans in Chicago have to be excited about his future, while the fans in Cleveland have to be thinking “Oh great, we let another good one go.”
9. TREVOR SIEMIAN – (Drafted in 2015, passed on him 12 times)
Obviously Trevor Siemian isn’t a star quarterback but he’s proven more than once to be a capable NFL starter. He has over 5,000 career passing yards, and more touchdown passes than interceptions. He surely would have been the Browns starting quarterback the last few seasons, and would be much more valuable to the franchise than guys like Vince Mayle, Charles Gaines, Malcolm Johnson, and Richard Telfer, who were all chosen instead.
8. JACOBY BRISSETT – (Drafted in 2016, passed on him 4 times)
Brissett is an interesting quarterback. He was a late addition to the Colts this season via a trade from the Patriots, and became the team’s starter. He can make plays on the ground and not just with his arm, and has put up a decent stat line this season of 2,542 passing yards, with 13 total touchdowns and 7 interceptions. It’s hard to fault the Browns for who they took ahead of Brissett, as Corey Coleman, Emmanuel Ogbah, Shon Coleman, and Carl Nassib have all been contributors. But the QB they took two picks later, Cody Kessler has proven to be a real turd.
7. AJ MCCARRON – (Drafted in 2014, passed on him 6 times)
AJ McCarron hasn’t had the chance to put up a ton of numbers playing behind The Red Rocket Andy Dalton, but when given the chance, he appears to have all the tools to be an adequate NFL QB. The Browns were reportedly close to acquiring him at this season’s trade deadline and one wonders if they’d be happy to give up who they took instead of him, (Johnny Manziel, Justin Gilbert, Christian Kirksey, Joel Bitonio and Pierre Desir) as compensation for his services.
6. TEDDY BRIDGEWATER – (Drafted in 2014, passed on him 2 times)
Bridgewater fell to the end of the 1st round in the 2014 NFL Draft after a Pro Day that impressed basically no one. The Browns were so turned off by that workout that they took at shitty cornerback with the 8th pick in Justin Gilbert, and then drafted a drug addict drama queen with the 22nd pick in Johnny Manziel. Granted Teddy is recovering from a devastating knee injury, and his future career is very much in doubt, but one has to believe the Browns would have much rather ended up with no. 5 instead of the two players they did take.
5. JIMMY GAROPPOLO – (Drafted in 2014, passed on him 3 times)
The Browns will never live down the 2014 Draft and the players they should have taken. It’s already been stated pretty clearly that they made a huge mistake with CB Justin Gilbert and Johnny Manziel and left better quarterbacks on the board. One of those quarterbacks is Jimmy Garoppolo. Like other qbs on this list, Jimmy hasn’t had a ton of playing time, being second fiddle to Tom Brady. But he showed enough promise filling in for him during his 2016 suspension that the 49ers used a 2nd round pick to acquire his services. While his future remains unclear, what is clear is that the Browns wish they would’ve taken him instead of Johnny Football.
4. DESHAUN WATSON – (Drafted in 2017, passed on him 2 times)
The Browns could have had a franchise changing Draft in 2017. They took Myles Garrett with the first pick and he has proven worthy. showing tremendous pass rushing ability. Just think if they would’ve followed that pick with Clemson QB DeShaun Watson at pick 12. Instead, they traded down and took Jabrill Peppers and TE David Njoku. Nothing against those two, but Watson is clearly going to be a star at the most important position in all of sports. Watson was on fire before blowing out his knee, and is going to be one the faces of not just the Texans in the next decade, but the entire NFL.
3. DEREK CARR – (Drafted in 2014, passed on him 3 times)
Again the Browns are awoken in a cold sweat and uncomfortable boner by the ghost of the 2014 Draft. Another QB they could have had instead of Johnny “Coke Nose” Manziel was Derek Carr. Carr fell to round two mostly because teams were scared he was going to be a bust like his older brother. Those fears proved to be futile. Carr is simply one of the best young quarterbacks in the leauge, possessing a rocket arm and balls of steel. He is clearly the cream of the crop of the 2014 quarterback draft class and one the Browns had the chance to take 3 freakin’ times.
2. DAK PRESCOTT – (Drafted in 2016, passed on him 8 times)
The Browns have shown to be gun shy on pulling the trigger on a qb very early in the Draft, instead choosing to trade down most of the time. Here is a situation where they could’ve done that strategy and still gotten a franchise QB. Dak Prescott was seen as a dual threat QB heading into the 2016 Draft, and a bit of a project. A DUI arrest tarnished his image prior to the Draft, and he subsequently suffered a Draft Day collapse because of it. The Browns held the second pick that year but shocker, decided to trade down. They had a ton of picks and finally decided to use one on a quarterback in the late third round. Instead of taking the talented Prescott, they opted for USC’s Cody Kessler. Surprisingly enough, the Browns still had two more shots at Prescott but opted to take OLB Joe Schobert and WR Ricardo Louis instead. Ouch Cleveland…Ouch.
1. CARSON WENTZ – (Drafted in 2016, passed on him 1 time)
This one hurts the most for Browns fans. As the 2016 NFL Draft approached, the number one overall pick became a contest between CAL’s Jared Goff or North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz. Many saw Goff as the safer pick, playing for a bigger school and in a pro system, while others preferred Wentz’s size, and raw physical ability despite his small school status. Either way, this looked like the year the Browns were finally going to land their franchise quarterback. As the draft approached the Titans struck a deal with the Rams who wanted Goff. This put Wentz in the Browns laps at pick 2. So what do the Browns do? They trade down. Instead of landing a quarterback, the team took a slot receiver. Because obviously having a guy who can catch the ball is more important than having one that can throw it. Wentz has gone on to become one of the best young quarterbacks in the league and a legitimate MVP candidate. While Coleman has been an injury waiting to happen. Classic Browns.