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Top 10 Reasons Why the Browns Have Failed Since 1999 – #9 Draft Woes Have Plagued Browns

Year: 1999

Number of Picks Used: 11

First Round Picks: 1 – Tim Couch, QB, 1st overall

Second Round Picks: 2 – Kevin Johnson, WR, 32nd overall; Rahim Abdullah, LB, 45th overall

Third Round Picks: 2 – Daylon McCutcheon, CB, 62nd overall; Marquis Smith, DB, 76th overall

Pro Bowlers: None.

Longest in NFL: James Dearth, TE/LS (sixth round), 2011, 146 career games.

Longest with Browns: McCutcheon, 2005, 103 career games.

Noted: Couch was the longest-tenured of the team’s 24 starting quarterbacks, but never took an NFL regular season snap following the 2003 season finale, having played in 62 games. Couch was drafted one pick ahead of QB Donovan McNabb, who played in the NFL until 2011, made six Pro Bowls and quarterbacked in one Super Bowl. Besides Dearth and McCutcheon, only two other players selected by the Browns played in more than 100 NFL games – Johnson (101) and LB Wali Rainer (fourth round, 110).

Year: 2000

Number of Picks Used: 12

First Round Picks: 1 – Courtney Brown, DE, 1st overall

Second Round Picks: 1 – Dennis Northcutt, WR, 32nd overall

Third Round Picks: 2 – Travis Prentice, RB, 65th overall; JaJuan Dawson, WR, 73rd overall.

Pro Bowlers: None.

Longest in NFL: Northcutt, 2009, 144 career games.

Longest with Browns: Northcutt, 2006, 99 career games.

Noted: Brown only played in 61 career games – 47 with the Browns. He retired after one season with the Denver Broncos in 2005 due to injuries. Kicker Sebastian Janikowski (17th overall, Oakland) and quarterback Tom Brady (sixth round, 199th overall, New England) are the only members of that draft class still playing. The Browns infamously drafted QB Spergon Wynn in the sixth round, just 16 picks ahead of where Brady, a four-time Super Bowl champion, was selected.

Year: 2001

Number of Picks Used: 8

First Round Picks: 1 – Gerard Warren, DT, 3rd overall

Second Round Picks: 1 – Quincy Morgan, WR, 33rd overall

Third Round Picks: 1 – James Jackson, RB, 65th overall

Pro Bowlers: None.

Longest in NFL: Warren, 2011, 163 career games.

Longest with Browns: Five players – Warren, Anthony Henry, CB (fourth round), Michael Jameson, CB (sixth round), Paul Zukauskas, G (seventh round), Andre King, WR (seventh round), 2004.

Noted: This draft class was probably together the longest in the Browns history – seven of the eight picks made the Browns and stayed with them for most of the next four seasons. This was the first draft class assembled by new head coach Butch Davis, who made a habit out of never cutting his own picks. Morgan was traded midway through the 2004 season for fellow receiver Antonio Bryant, while Jackson was released midway through 2004 and signed by Green Bay. Incoming GM Phil Savage essentially cut ties with this entire class in one fell swoop upon his hire early in 2005. The only pick to not make the team was LB Jeremiah Pharms (fifth round), who was arrested shortly after his selection and never played a down in the NFL.

Year: 2002

Number of Picks Used: 8

First Round Picks: 1 – William Green, RB, 16th overall

Second Round Picks: 1 – Andre Davis, WR, 47th overall

Third Round Picks: 1 – Melvin Fowler, C, 76th overall

Pro Bowlers: None.

Longest in NFL: Andre Davis, LB (fifth round), 2011, 143 career games.

Longest with Browns: Andra Davis, 2008, 105 career games.

Noted: Green was out of the NFL by 2005, having only played in 46 career games and being a starter for two seasons. However, he helped the Browns beat the Atlanta Falcons, 24-16, in the 2002 season finale to help them clinch a playoff berth for the first (and only) time since the franchise returned. Andre Davis marked the fourth-consecutive year the Browns took a receiver in the second round. Linebacker Kevin Bentley (fourth round) also played in the NFL until 2011, but in 136 career games. He played with four other teams from 2005-11.

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Dan Gilles has been a sportswriter in Northeast Ohio for 21 years and been a fan of Cleveland Sports his entire life. He primarily covers high school sports and has also covered collegiate sports, the Lake Erie Crushers and other various pro sports as well. He has written for several newspapers and is currently with The (Elyria) Chronicle-Telegram. Dan is a 1992 graduate of Admiral King High School in Lorain and also has degrees from Lorain County Community College and Cleveland State University. When he's not writing, he plays the drums for a local metal band, is a Saturday night DJ at a local bar and plays in four fantasy football leagues. You can follow him on Twitter @DanGilles1973.

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