Rating the Best Cleveland Browns Draft Picks of All-Time

Updated on January 28, 2020
Radio voice of the Cleveland Browns, Jim Donovan (right), speaks during a press conference in Public Square to announce Cleveland as the host of the 2021 NFL Draft. Since joining the NFL in 1950, the Browns have made plenty of memorable draft picks.
Radio voice of the Cleveland Browns, Jim Donovan (right), speaks during a press conference in Public Square to announce Cleveland as the host of the 2021 NFL Draft. Since joining the NFL in 1950, the Browns have made plenty of memorable draft picks. | Source

Who Were the Best Draft Picks in Cleveland Browns History?

In the National Football League, one good or bad draft can drastically impact a team's future. Not only is it imperative for teams to find players who blossom into stars with their highest draft picks, it's also crucial to find surprising superstars with late-round picks. Simply put, there aren't many things worse than pouring a multi-million dollar investment into a high-profile draft pick who turns into a bust, and there aren't many things better than taking a flyer on a late-round draft pick who turns into one of the best players on the team. Throughout the 71-year history of the Cleveland Browns, the franchise has had plenty of hits and misses on both ends of that spectrum. In this article, I'll be celebrating the greatest wins the Browns have ever had on draft day.

Selection Criteria for This List

Among the factors used to develop this list, which includes the 10 best draft picks the Browns have ever made, as well as a handful of honorable-mention selections, are:

  • Return on investment (A top pick who lived up to Hall of Fame-type hype, or a late pick who exceeded expectations, etc.)
  • Risk vs. Reward (How much risk was involved in the pick and what were the rewards the franchise received?)

For the purposes of this list, only players drafted by the Browns who then played a significant amount of their career in Cleveland are considered. So while Willie Davis ended up being a Hall of Fame defensive end who the Browns wisely selected in the 15th round of the 1956 NFL Draft, he won't make this list since he only played 2 seasons in Cleveland and 10 seasons with the Green Bay Packers. Now, without further ado, let's count down the 10 best draft picks in the history of the Cleveland Browns!

The bust of former Cleveland Browns offensive lineman, Gene Hickerson, as seen in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was a seventh-round pick in the 1957 NFL Draft, who easily produced more than would be expected of a 78th overall draft pick.
The bust of former Cleveland Browns offensive lineman, Gene Hickerson, as seen in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was a seventh-round pick in the 1957 NFL Draft, who easily produced more than would be expected of a 78th overall draft pick. | Source

10. Gene Hickerson

  • Year Drafted: 1957
  • Round: 7th
  • Overall Pick: 78
  • Position: Offensive guard
  • College: Ole Miss

Sometimes, a solid pick in the middle of a draft can be the difference-maker in a team's future. That was certainly the case when the Cleveland Browns selected Robert Gene Hickerson in 1957. After finishing his college career, Hickerson became a "messenger guard" for the Browns, which at the time was an offensive lineman, who brought in the play call from the coaching staff to the huddle on every other play. But he proved to be too good for that role, and soon became a full-time starter. That's when the Browns began to see the dividends of their pick.

Also selected in the 1957 draft was fullback Jim Brown, who would go on to become one of the greatest football players of all-time. Because he and Hickerson came into the league at the same time, they developed quite the rapport as teammates, and Hickerson used his athleticism to open wide running lanes for Brown. Together, they helped Cleveland claim the 1964 NFL Championship and make four postseason appearances. So while Hickerson didn't come to the Browns with a lot of fanfare, the future Hall of Famer certainly did his part.

The bust of former Cleveland Browns running back, LeRoy Kelly, as seen in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was the 110th overall selection in the 1964 NFL Draft, but became a 1,000-yard rusher for the Browns.
The bust of former Cleveland Browns running back, LeRoy Kelly, as seen in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was the 110th overall selection in the 1964 NFL Draft, but became a 1,000-yard rusher for the Browns. | Source

9. LeRoy Kelly

  • Year Drafted: 1964
  • Round: 8th
  • Overall Pick: 110
  • Position: Running Back
  • College: Morgan State

Because Hall of Famer Jim Brown was in the prime of his career, running back was not a position of significant need for the Cleveland Browns in the 1964 NFL Draft. Still, the Browns opted to take a look at small-school standout LeRoy Kelly when their turn came around in the eighth round. Physically a bit small for the NFL at draft time, Kelly bulked up by almost 20 pounds throughout the summer to make the team as a rookie. And while he made an impression with coaches during training camp, Brown was still in the picture—so Kelly saw limited action throughout his first two seasons. Once Brown retired after the 1965 season, however, the narrative changed quickly.

In 1966, Kelly began his Hall of Fame career with his first of three straight seasons with at least 1,000 yards, making the Pro Bowl and gaining an All-Pro selection in each of those campaigns. He continued on as the starter in Cleveland until his retirement after the 1973 season, and left the game with 1,727 carries for 7,274 yards and 74 touchdowns. Among the 11 Hall of Famers selected in the 1964 draft, only Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach was drafted later, so Kelly proved to be quite the bargain for the Browns.

Former Cleveland Browns receiver, Paul Warfield, arrives during the 2017 Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremonies at the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. He is one of several Hall of Famers who have been drafted by the Browns.
Former Cleveland Browns receiver, Paul Warfield, arrives during the 2017 Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremonies at the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. He is one of several Hall of Famers who have been drafted by the Browns. | Source

8. Paul Warfield

  • Year Drafted: 1964
  • Round: 1st
  • Overall Pick: 11
  • Position: Wide receiver
  • College: Ohio State

Coming into the 1964 season, Cleveland Browns coach, Blanton Collier, needed to acquire some additional defensive weapons to get his squad back in the championship conversation. First-round draft selection, Paul Warfield, was supposed to be part of that help, despite playing extensively as a split end offensively at Ohio State. But first, the Browns had to sign him. Warfield was also selected by the Buffalo Bills in that year's rival American Football League Draft, and he took about a week to finalize a deal with Cleveland. By July, it was quite clear that Warfield would be more valuable to the Browns as an offensive weapon than a defensive one. "We laugh at ourselves each day when we recall that we were going to play Paul Warfield on defense," said Cleveland owner Art Modell (1964).

Warfield was a crucial piece to Cleveland's 1964 NFL championship, and he continued to be one of the best receivers ever for the Browns until they traded him to the Miami Dolphins before the 1970 season. Other than when he missed the entire 1965 season due to injury, Warfield played every game between 1964–69, and caught at least 700 yards each season to make 4 Pro Bowls. He returned to the Browns for the final 2 years of his Hall of Fame career, and overall with Cleveland, he had 5,210 yards and 52 touchdowns in 8 seasons.

Former Cleveland Browns left tackle, Joe Thomas, prepares to block defenders during a 2016 game against the New York Giants. After being drafted No. 3 overall in 2007, Thomas became one of the most reliable players in franchise history.
Former Cleveland Browns left tackle, Joe Thomas, prepares to block defenders during a 2016 game against the New York Giants. After being drafted No. 3 overall in 2007, Thomas became one of the most reliable players in franchise history. | Source

7. Joe Thomas

  • Year Drafted: 2007
  • Round: 1st
  • Overall Pick: 3
  • Position: Left tackle
  • College: Wisconsin

In most years, the left tackle position has been one of the most consistent spots on the field for the Cleveland Browns. After returning to the NFL as an expansion team in 1999, however, the Browns couldn't find a standout player to emulate the legends of the '50s, '60s, and '70s. Then Joe Thomas came along. A gargantuan from Wisconsin, Thomas was selected as the third overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, somewhat to the bemoan of Cleveland fans who wanted the team to select a quarterback. And while the Browns drafted a quarterback later in the first round (a bust in Brady Quinn), Thomas ultimately became one of the finest players in team history and the greatest offensive linemen in franchise history.

There was never any question Thomas would start right away as a rookie, and he wouldn't miss a snap until a torn triceps muscle in his left arm ended his career after 11 seasons. His 10,363 straight snaps are the most ever since the NFL began recording snap counts in 1999. He made 10 straight Pro Bowls to open his career and was named a first-team All-Pro seven times. Cleveland found little success during Thomas' tenure, but the legendary lineman should get inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame when he first becomes eligible in 2023.

Former Cleveland Browns tight end, Ozzie Newsome, speaks to the media during the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine, while serving as General Manager of the Baltimore Ravens. As the 23rd overall pick in the 1978 NFL Draft, Newsome became a Hall of Famer.
Former Cleveland Browns tight end, Ozzie Newsome, speaks to the media during the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine, while serving as General Manager of the Baltimore Ravens. As the 23rd overall pick in the 1978 NFL Draft, Newsome became a Hall of Famer. | Source

6. Ozzie Newsome

  • Year Drafted: 1978
  • Round: 1st
  • Overall Pick: 23
  • Position: Tight end
  • College: University of Alabama

Had the Cleveland Browns had a higher pick in the first round of the 1978 NFL Draft, Hall of Fame tight end, Ozzie Newsome, very well could have ended up on another team. Going into the 1978 season, the Browns were in need of a dynamic receiver who could also return kicks, but the top two players who met those needs were gone before Cleveland's first pick in the opening round (No. 12 overall). That left the team's options open for their second first-round pick that year, which is where Newsome would be drafted by the Browns. Cleveland actually traded down from pick No. 20 to pick No. 23 to snare Newsome—and added an extra fourth-round pick in the process.

Newsome had been a wide receiver and punt returner for the Alabama Crimson Tide, and brought a pair of hands which first-year head coach, Sam Rutigliano, said could "catch a bee-bee in the dark" (Yannucci, 1978). That helped prompt the Browns to move Newsome to tight end shortly after the draft, and he'd become a Hall of Famer who spent all 13 years of his career in Cleveland. Newsome was named an All-Pro six times along the way, and his 662 receptions for 7,980 yards remain franchise records.

Former Cleveland Browns linebacker, Clay Matthews Jr., watches the video board as he is inducted into the Browns Ring of Honor during halftime of a 2019 game against the Los Angeles Rams at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland.
Former Cleveland Browns linebacker, Clay Matthews Jr., watches the video board as he is inducted into the Browns Ring of Honor during halftime of a 2019 game against the Los Angeles Rams at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland. | Source

5. Clay Matthews

  • Year Drafted: 1978
  • Round: 1st
  • Overall Pick: 12
  • Position: Linebacker
  • College: University of Southern California

First-year Cleveland Browns head coach Sam Rutigliano was fairly certain his top eight players would be gone before he got to make his first selection in the 1978 NFL Draft with the 12th overall pick. "There are always surprises, but I feel certain those eight guys . . . all will be gone before it's our turn to draft," Rutigliano said, citing future Hall of Famers like Earl Campbell and James Lofton, as well as a linebacker named Clay Matthews. "We'll go for the fellow we think is the best athlete available, without regard to position" (Schneider, 1978). It turned out Matthews was still on the board, and he made for an outstanding selection that helped solidify Cleveland's defense for the next 16 seasons. Outstanding—but also questionable at the time.

Linebacker was arguably the Browns' greatest strength going into the 1978 season, and one year earlier, the team had also spent a first-round pick on the position. Cleveland's top need was a bona fide receiver who could also return kicks, but the two such players the Browns had targeted were gone within the first six picks. So that left them with Matthews in a decision that Akron Beacon-Journal columnist, Tom Melody, opined "will be difficult to justify" (Melody, 1978). Little did Melody and other critics know, Matthews would become one of the league's best throughout the 1980s, making four Pro Bowls and leading the defense during playoff runs from 1986–89. No player in team history has ever played more games than Matthews (232), and he was inducted into the franchise's Ring of Honor in 2019. for his efforts.

Former Cleveland Browns running back, Earnest Byner, drags pads out to the field at the team's training facility in Berea during training camp in 2016. Byner was a 10th-round pick in 1984, but became a star for several Browns playoff teams.
Former Cleveland Browns running back, Earnest Byner, drags pads out to the field at the team's training facility in Berea during training camp in 2016. Byner was a 10th-round pick in 1984, but became a star for several Browns playoff teams. | Source

4. Earnest Byner

  • Year Drafted: 1984
  • Round: 10th
  • Overall Pick: 280
  • Position: Running back
  • College: East Carolina

By the time an NFL Draft reaches the 280th overall selection, most teams are simply hoping to find a draft pick who they can develop into a formidable player. That was the case when the Cleveland Browns selected Earnest Byner in the 10th round of the 1984 draft, though he quickly proved he wasn't like most late-round draft picks. Byner caught the attention of coaches early in the summer, as they saw him developing into something more than a typical running back. "The thing that Byner has that the other guys don't have is great hands," said head coach Sam Rutigliano. "He catches the ball better than anyone we've got. Right now" (Meyer, 1984). That's high praise from a coach who was returning several dependable running backs from the previous season.

Byner was relegated to mostly kick returns as a rookie, but then started 13 games as the primary ball carrier in his second season on his way to gaining 1,002 rushing yards. He and teammate, Kevin Mack, became just the third duo from the same team in NFL history to each rush for 1,000 yards during the same season. Byner was a very popular player for the Browns, but did have an infamous moment for the wrong reasons, when he fumbled the ball late in the 1987 American Football Conference Championship game. In the end, Byner played 7 seasons in Cleveland and ran the ball 862 times for 3,364 yards and 27 touchdowns, while adding 276 receptions for 2,630 yards and 10 more scores.

Legendary Cleveland Browns running back, Jim Brown, was a can't-miss selection when the team took him No. 6 overall in the 1957 NFL Draft, and he became one of the greatest football players in the history of the league.
Legendary Cleveland Browns running back, Jim Brown, was a can't-miss selection when the team took him No. 6 overall in the 1957 NFL Draft, and he became one of the greatest football players in the history of the league. | Source

3. Jim Brown

  • Year Drafted: 1957
  • Round: 1st
  • Overall Pick: 6
  • Position: Fullback
  • College: Syracuse

From the time the Cleveland Browns came into existence, they always had a strong rushing attack. But when Hall of Fame fullback Marion Motley retired in 1953, it left a gaping void that the franchise struggled to fill. James "Jim" Brown changed all that. A highly touted rusher, Brown was a can't-miss pick as a first-round draft selection for the Browns, and became one of four Hall of Famers selected in the opening round of the 1957 NFL Draft. In anticipation of his arrival, the Akron-Beacon Journal wrote, "Praise most likely will flow like water from a busted hydrant . . . when Jim Brown arrives" (Plath, 1957). And that it did, as Brown began his career as the league's Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player.

Brown would continue on to make the Pro Bowl and be selected an All-Pro in each of his nine seasons, and he'd again take home the MVP trophy in 1958 and '65. He'd leave the game with NFL records in every major rushing category after running the ball 2,359 times for 12,312 yards and 106 touchdowns. He still holds Cleveland's franchise record in each category. Brown helped the Browns win the 1964 NFL Championship game, and also appeared in the postseason in 1957, '58, and '65. He's undeniably the greatest rusher in franchise history, and it will be difficult for anyone to surpass him as such.

Former Cleveland Browns quarterback, Brian Sipe, is seen on the sidelines during the 1979 season. The 330th overall selection in the 1972 NFL Draft eventually became the 1980 NFL Most Valuable Player and made two postseason appearances.
Former Cleveland Browns quarterback, Brian Sipe, is seen on the sidelines during the 1979 season. The 330th overall selection in the 1972 NFL Draft eventually became the 1980 NFL Most Valuable Player and made two postseason appearances. | Source

2. Brian Sipe

  • Year Drafted: 1972
  • Round: 13th
  • Overall Pick: 330
  • Position: Quarterback
  • College: San Diego State

Quarterback was not necessarily a position of need for the Cleveland Browns in 1972, but they spent a 13th-round selection on a talented signal-caller who would eventually become one of the best quarterbacks in franchise history. Brian Sipe's talent was intriguing enough for Cleveland to develop him slowly, despite incumbent starter, Bill Nelsen, and third-year man, Mike Phipps, already giving the Browns a pair of solid quarterbacks for the 1972 season. Phipps, who was taken in the first round of the 1970 NFL Draft, was set to become the next starter for the franchise, which left Nelsen assigned to more of a mentorship role in what would be his final season. Sipe left San Diego State University as the career record-holder in every major passing category, but because he stood only 6 feet, 1 inch tall, he was quite undersized for his position in the NFL. So while the Browns were willing to have Nelsen help develop him, the team's front office leadership couldn't have imagined Sipe developing into the quarterback he eventually became.

Sipe understood his place as the third-string quarterback, but that did not deter his confidence, part of which he gained by playing in a pro-style offense in college. "Personally, being drafted in the 13th round only hurt me in the pocket book," Sipe said. "Once you get in camp, it doesn't matter where you were drafted. But I plan to be around pro ball a long time and make up for whatever money I may be losing now. Foremost in my mind is to make the team. That's when the gravy is made" (Zitrin, 1972). For two seasons, Sipe waited on the sidelines for his chance to start, and it wasn't until 1976 that he took on that role full-time. He got better each season until hitting his greatest height in 1980, when he was named the NFL's Most Valuable Player and led the Browns into the playoffs. Throughout his career, Sipe completed 1,944 of 3,439 passes for 3,713 yards and 154 TDs.

Former Cleveland Browns quarterback, Bernie Kosar, signs an autograph before a 2019 game against the Baltimore Ravens. After making a huge trade to draft Kosar in 1985, the Browns had no choice but to get the pick right. And they did.
Former Cleveland Browns quarterback, Bernie Kosar, signs an autograph before a 2019 game against the Baltimore Ravens. After making a huge trade to draft Kosar in 1985, the Browns had no choice but to get the pick right. And they did. | Source

1. Bernie Kosar

  • Year Drafted: 1985 (Supplemental)
  • Round: 1st
  • Overall Pick: 1
  • Position: Quarterback
  • College: University of Miami

If there was ever a draft pick the Cleveland Browns had to get right, it was the top pick of the 1985 Supplemental Draft. Cleveland made a strategic trade with the Buffalo Bills leading up to the regular 1985 NFL Draft, all the while hoping Kosar would forego entry into that event. Kosar was a junior at the University of Miami, but was on track to graduate early, thus making him eligible to join the NFL. Despite declaring his interest in coming to the NFL—specifically to the Browns—and hiring an agent, it was not certain he would meet the deadline to file paperwork to enter the 1985 NFL Draft. This is where the Browns saw an opportunity.

The Buffalo Bills held the top pick in the 1985 draft but had made it clear they would sign defensive end, Bruce Smith. Therefore, in preparation of Kosar's graduating college early, the Minnesota Vikings traded up to the No. 2 spot in the draft to position themselves to select Kosar. On the same day, Cleveland traded four draft picks to the Buffalo Bills for their first pick in the 1986 draft—and therefore the first pick in the 1985 Supplemental Draft. Among the picks Cleveland traded were a pair of first-rounders, so the trade carried risk and would prove disastrous if Kosar applied for the regular draft.

Ultimately, Kosar missed the deadline to enter the 1985 NFL Draft, prompting a major controversy that had lawsuits threatened, collusion alleged, and the Browns getting the rights to the quarterback in the supplemental draft. Kosar then delivered on the praise he received, leading the Browns into the playoffs each season from 1986–89. That included three AFC Championship game appearances, but the Browns were unable to defeat the Denver Broncos in any of those matchups. He completed 1,853 of 3,150 passes for 21,904 yards, 116 touchdowns, and 81 interceptions in 9 seasons with the Browns. During the playoffs, he quarterbacked 7 games, completing 146 of 260 passes for 1,860 yards, 15 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions, while posting a 3–4 record.

Former Cleveland Browns offensive lineman and current radio personality, Doug Dieken (right), talks with former Browns standout, Joe Thomas, during training camp in 2014. Both rank among the greatest draft picks Cleveland has ever made.
Former Cleveland Browns offensive lineman and current radio personality, Doug Dieken (right), talks with former Browns standout, Joe Thomas, during training camp in 2014. Both rank among the greatest draft picks Cleveland has ever made. | Source

Honorable Mentions

The Cleveland Browns have made many memorable draft picks, and here are some others that were significant but fell just outside of the top 10.

Ben Davis

Benjamin "Ben" Davis is not considered among the most well-known Cleveland Browns players of all-time, but he was certainly an all-time draft steal for the franchise. As the 439th overall selection in the 1967 NFL Draft, Davis was basically an afterthought coming out of tiny Defiance College in Ohio. But he quickly showed he was more than a 17th-round draft choice, and earned his place as primary returner for the 1967 season (his 12.7 yards per punt return paced the NFL), and he also saw some action defensively. As a starting cornerback the next season, he had eight interceptions. Throughout 7 seasons with Cleveland, Davis had 17 interceptions and 1,100 return yards.

Dick Ambrose

With the 290th overall selection in the 1975 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns selected Richard "Dick" Ambrose from the University of Virginia. As a 12th-round pick, not much was expected from Ambrose, but when an injury forced him into the starting lineup, he showed he could be a productive player. From 1977–82, Ambrose started nearly every game for the Browns, helping them make playoff appearances in 1980 and '82. Complications from a broken ankle suffered in 1983 ended his career prematurely, but he's still remembered as one of the better linebackers in Browns history.

Billy Andrews

The Cleveland Browns picked up William "Billy" Andrews as the 333rd overall pick in the 1967 NFL Draft, and the 13th-round pick from Southeastern Louisiana built himself a solid NFL career. He played as a reserve linebacker during his first three seasons, but eventually became a starter. Andrews ran back an interception for a touchdown during the first-ever Monday Night Football game in 1970, and had 6 interceptions in 100 games over his 8 seasons with the Browns.

Doug Dieken

In college, Doug Dieken was a tight end for the University of Illinois, and wasn't much of a pass-catcher. That lowered his draft stock to the point that the Cleveland Browns snared him with the 142nd overall pick in the sixth round of the 1971 NFL Draft. After transitioning to left tackle, Dieken became a mainstay for the Browns, and didn't miss a game in his career. Seven times during Dieken's tenure, a Browns running back or fullback gained at least 1,000 yards in a season.

Cleveland Browns defensive end, Myles Garrett, celebrates his sack against New York Jets in 2017. That year, Garrett was the first overall selection in the NFL Draft, and he's one of only five No. 1 picks the Browns have ever made.
Cleveland Browns defensive end, Myles Garrett, celebrates his sack against New York Jets in 2017. That year, Garrett was the first overall selection in the NFL Draft, and he's one of only five No. 1 picks the Browns have ever made. | Source

Cleveland Browns Draft History

Some tidbits and trivia about draft picks of the Cleveland Browns.

How Many Times Have the Browns Taken the No. 1 Pick in the NFL Draft?

The Cleveland Browns have selected the first overall pick in an NFL Draft five times, selecting three quarterbacks and two defensive ends. Of those five picks, four have come since Cleveland returned as an expansion franchise in 1999.

  • 2018: Quarterback Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma)
  • 2017: Defensive end Myles Garrett (Texas A&M)
  • 2000: Defensive end Courtney Brown (Penn State)
  • 1999: Quarterback Tim Couch (Kentucky)
  • 1954: Quarterback Bobby Garrett (Stanford)

How Many Hall of Famers Have the Browns Drafted?

The Cleveland Browns have drafted 13 Hall of Famers since 1950. The best draft in this regard came in 1957, when the Browns selected three Hall of Famers—including two who primarily played with the franchise.

  • 1951: Tackle Art Donovan
  • 1951: Defensive back Don Shula*
  • 1953: Defensive end Doug Atkins
  • 1953: Defensive back Chuck Noll*
  • 1956: Defensive end Willie Davis
  • 1957: Fullback Jim Brown
  • 1957: Defensive tackle Henry Jordan
  • 1957: Offensive guard Gene Hickerson
  • 1958: Running back Bobby Mitchell
  • 1959: Defensive back Dick LeBeau
  • 1964: Wide receiver Paul Warfield
  • 1964: Running back LeRoy Kelly
  • 1978: Tight end Ozzie Newsome

*Inducted into Hall of Fame primarily for contributions as a coach

Cleveland Browns first-round picks, Baker Mayfield (left) and Denzel Ward, show off Browns jerseys during a press conference after the 2018 NFL Draft. That year marked the ninth time Cleveland had multiple first-round picks in the same draft.
Cleveland Browns first-round picks, Baker Mayfield (left) and Denzel Ward, show off Browns jerseys during a press conference after the 2018 NFL Draft. That year marked the ninth time Cleveland had multiple first-round picks in the same draft. | Source

Every Cleveland Browns First-Round NFL Draft Pick in History

Year
Player
Overall Pick
Position
College
1950
Ken Carpenter
13
HB
Oregon St.
1951
Ken Konz
14
DB
LSU
1952
Bert Rechichar
10
DB
Tennessee
1952
Harry Agganis
12
QB
Boston Univ.
1953
Doug Atkins
11
DE
Tennessee
1954
Bobby Garrett
1
QB
Stanford
1954
John Bauer
12
T
Illinois
1955
Kurt Burris
13
C
Oklahoma
1956
Preston Carpenter
13
E
Arkansas
1957
Jim Brown
6
FB
Syracuse
1958
Jim Shofner
13
DB
TCU
1959
Rich Kreitling
11
E
Illinois
1960
Jim Houston
8
LB
Ohio St.
1961
Bobby Crespino
10
SE
Mississippi
1962
Gary Collins
4
FL
Maryland
1962
Leroy Jackson
11
HB
West. Illinois
1963
Tom Hutchinson
9
TE
Kentucky
1964
Paul Warfield
11
WR
Ohio St.
1966
Milt Morin
14
TE
Massachusetts
1967
Bob Matheson
18
LB
Duke
1968
Marvin Upshaw
21
DE
Trinity (TX)
1969
Ron Johnson
20
RB
Michigan
1970
Mike Phipps
3
QB
Purdue
1970
Bob McKay
21
T
Texas
1971
Clarence Scott
14
DB
Kansas St.
1972
Thom Darden
18
DB
Michigan
1973
Steve Holden
16
WR
Arizona St.
1973
Pete Adams
22
G
USC
1975
Mack Mitchell
5
DE
Houston
1976
Mike Pruitt
7
RB
Purdue
1977
Robert Jackson
17
LB
Texas A&M
1978
Clay Matthews
12
LB
USC
1978
Ozzie Newsome
23
TE
Alabama
1979
Willis Adams
20
WR
Houston
1980
Charles White
27
RB
USC
1981
Hanford Dixon
22
DB
Southern Miss
1982
Chip Banks
3
LB
USC
1984
Don Rogers
18
DB
UCLA
1987
Mike Junkin
5
LB
Duke
1988
Clifford Charlton
21
LB
Florida
1989
Eric Metcalf
13
RB
Texas
1991
Eric Turner
2
DB
UCLA
1992
Tommy Vardell
9
RB
Stanford
1993
Steve Everitt
14
C
Michigan
1994
Antonio Langham
9
DB
Alabama
1994
Derrick Alexander
29
WR
Michigan
1995
Craig Powell
30
LB
Ohio St.
1999
Tim Couch
1
QB
Kentucky
2000
Courtney Brown
1
DE
Penn St.
2001
Gerard Warren
3
DT
Florida
2002
William Green
16
RB
Boston Col.
2003
Jeff Faine
21
C
Notre Dame
2004
Kellen Winslow
6
TE
Miami (FL)
2005
Braylon Edwards
3
WR
Michigan
2006
Kamerion Wimbley
13
DE
Florida St.
2007
Joe Thomas
3
T
Wisconsin
2007
Brady Quinn
22
QB
Notre Dame
2009
Alex Mack
21
C
California
2010
Joe Haden
7
DB
Florida
2011
Phil Taylor
21
DT
Baylor
2012
Trent Richardson
3
RB
Alabama
2012
Brandon Weeden
22
QB
Oklahoma St.
2013
Barkevious Mingo
6
LB
LSU
2014
Justin Gilbert
8
DB
Oklahoma St.
2014
Johnny Manziel
22
QB
Texas A&M
2015
Danny Shelton
12
NT
Washington
2015
Cameron Erving
19
C
Florida St.
2016
Corey Coleman
15
WR
Baylor
2017
Myles Garrett
1
DE
Texas A&M
2017
Jabrill Peppers
25
S
Michigan
2017
David Njoku
29
TE
Miami (FL)
2018
Baker Mayfield
1
QB
Oklahoma
2018
Denzel Ward
4
CB
Ohio St.

Works Cited

Melody, T. (1978, May 3). "Browns' encore a dud." Akron Beacon-Journal, pp. F1. Retrieved from Newspapers.com January 15, 2020.

Meyer, E. (1984, July 20). "Browns' Byner '84 version of Boyce Green." Akron Beacon-Journal, pp. C1–C5. Retrieved from Newspapers.com January 16, 2020.

Plath, D. (1957, July 24). "Browns' Top Rookies to Miss Roll Call." Akron Beacon-Journal, pp. 22. Retrieved from Newspapers.com January 20, 2020.

Schneider, R. (1978, May 1). "Browns' first choice will be one of six college stars in NFL Draft today." Cleveland Plain Dealer, pp. D1–D2. Retrieved from Cleveland Public Library January 15, 2020.

"Warfield on defense? A joke to Browns." (1964, July 19). Dayton Daily News, pp. 4-D. Retrieved from Newspapers.com January 15, 2020.

Yannucci, R. (1978, May 2). "Browns pick linebacker Matthews, Newsome." Akron Beacon-Journal, pp. C1–C4. Retrieved from Newspapers.com January 15, 2020.

Zitrin, R. (1972, February 27). "Browns Impressed by Rookie QB Sipe." Akron Beacon-Journal, pp. B5. Retrieved from Newspapers.com January 14, 2020.

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, howtheyplay.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)