Now that it is a certainty that the Browns will be selecting a quarterback in the upcoming NFL Draft, one hopes that our pick is more successful than similar selections in recent Team history.
We are not downplaying the difficulty in drafting a quarterback. It is one of those positions that bears little resemblance in the pros compared to college. Many better than average college quarterbacks are never able to cut the mustard in the NFL – the hits are too hard; the playbook is too complex; the measure of passing accuracy required is too exact; the pocket presence is too daunting; and so on.
Gambling at Las Vegas casinos may offer better odds of winning than the chances of selecting a quarterback in the NFL Draft that proves to have a successful NFL career as a starter.
Having said that, surely we can do better than we have in recent years. Since the infamous Tim Couch selection (number one overall in 1999), the Browns have selected four quarterbacks in the Draft.
In 2000, we picked Spergon Wynn in the sixth round, from Southwest Texas State. Who? Well, Spergon threw 152 total passes in the NFL, completing just over half of them, with a 39 QB rating. He was never on a NFL roster after 2000 except for a brief stint with the Minnesota Vikings as the third-string back-up QB in 2001. He played most of his career in the Canadian Football League, last playing for the Toronto Argonauts in 2006. Spergon was selected ahead of Tom Brady in the 2000 NFL Draft. He started one single game for the Browns, which he lost.
In 2004, the Cleveland Browns picked Luke McCown in the fourth round, from Louisiana Tech. Luke plays currently with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He started a few games for the Browns in 2004 and then was traded to the Tampa Bay Bucs. He played three good games for Tampa Bay in 2007 and then was traded to the Jags in 2009. Absent injury to another QB, he has never been a starter since 2004. He has played in four games total in the last two seasons.
In 2005, we selected Charlie Frye in the third round, from Akron. In 2005, Charlie had a decent 2-3 record in the five games that he started for the Browns. By 2007, after a pitiful performance in the opening game against Pittsburgh, Frye had lost the starting position to Derek Anderson. He was traded to Seattle in the Fall of 2007. There, he could not beat-out Seneca Wallace (now with Cleveland) for the back-up position and remained third-string. He was eventually traded to Oakland where he was also never able to gain the consistent starting position even though his competition was likely the worst starting QB in the NFL – Russell. Frye has a career QB rating under 70.
In 2007, the Browns selected the golden boy in the first round, Brady Quinn from Notre Dame. Time will tell what happens with Brady. He never lit it up in Cleveland. He will not be the starter in Denver, absent injury to Kyle Orton. There are those that warn of impending Super Bowl charges led by Brady. OK.
Let us do better in 2010.