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

Year: 2010

Number of Picks Used: 8

First Round Picks: 1 – Joe Haden, CB, 7th overall

Second Round Picks: 2 – T.J. Ward, S, 38th overall, Montario Hardesty, RB, 59th overall

Third Round Picks: 2 – Colt McCoy, QB, 85th overall, Shawn Lauvao, G, 92nd overall

Pro Bowlers: 2 – Haden, twice; Ward, twice.

Longest in NFL: Five players – Haden, Ward, McCoy, Lauvao, Larry Asante (fifth round, DB), 2015.

Longest with Browns: Haden, 2015, 77 career games.

Noted: Based on the sheer amount of high draft picks, this draft should have yielded the most talent. And, it technically did, with Haden and Ward becoming two-time Pro Bowlers. However, Ward was allowed to leave as a free agent following the 2013 season and signed with the Broncos. Both McCoy and Lauvao are with the Redskins, with Lauvao starting 44 of 53 games with Cleveland in four seasons. Asante never played a down with the Browns and is now on his fourth team, the Raiders. Hardesty battled injuries and only played 23 games in four seasons. Haden has missed most of this season with various injuries, including a severe concussion.

Year: 2011

Number of Picks Used: 8

First Round Picks: 1 – Phil Taylor, NT, 21st overall

Second Round Picks: 2 – Jabaal Sheard, DE/LB, 37th overall, Greg Little, WR, 59th overall

Third Round Picks: None.

Pro Bowlers: 1 – Jordan Cameron, TE (fourth round), once.

Longest in NFL: Three players – Sheard, Cameron, Buster Skrine, CB (fourth round), 2015.

Longest with Browns: Sheard, 2014, 61 career games; Skrine, 2014, 63 career games.

Noted: The Browns traded down from sixth overall and landed two first rounders, two second rounders and a fourth over the next two drafts. Taylor was effective, but battled injuries and only played in 44 games in four seasons. He’s currently out of the league, having been released in training camp. Sheard, Skrine and Cameron all left as free agents in the offseason, signing with the Patriots, Jets and Dolphins, respectively. Little battled drops and a poor attitude with the Browns in his three years with the team and was released. He’s currently out of the league after catching on with the Bengals. With that sixth pick, Atlanta took WR Julio Jones, who has become one of the top playmakers in the NFL. The Browns have no one left on the roster from this draft class.

Year: 2012

Number of Picks Used: 11

First Round Picks: 2 – Trent Richardson, RB, 3rd overall; Brandon Weeden, QB, 22nd overall

Second Round Picks: 1 – Mitchell Schwartz, RT, 37th overall

Third Round Picks: 1 – John Hughes, DT, 87th overall

Pro Bowlers: None.

Longest in NFL: Six players – Weeden, Schwartz, Hughes, Travis Benjamin (fourth round, WR), James-Michael Johnson (fourth round, LB), Billy Winn (sixth round, DE), 2015.

Longest with Browns: Schwartz, 2015, 62 career games; Hughes, 2015, 50 career games; Benjamin, 2015, 52 career games.

Noted: Both first round picks from this draft were off the Browns by the end of their second season. Richardson was dealt two games into his second season to the Colts for a first-rounder, while Weeden was released after a miserable second year in the league. Only three players are left from this draft for the Browns, and all three – Schwartz, Hughes and Benjamin – are free agents. At the moment, it appears Benjamin is close to re-signing. Richardson has been out of the league this season. This was the last draft run by team president Mike Holmgren and GM Tom Heckert.

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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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