Cleveland Browns: John Dorsey’s round-by-round draft history
2013: Eric Fisher, Offensive Tackle
When Dorsey and the Chiefs had the first overall selection in the 2013 NFL Draft, the question was whether they would draft Eric Fisher or Luke Joeckel. At the time, Joeckel seemed like the right pick. But Dorsey proved to be right as Fisher remains Kansas City’s left tackle and Joeckel is a free agent. Fisher has only missed two games in his five-year career, both during his rookie season. Fisher may not be one of the top tackles in the league, but he plays the position well and keeps the quarterback standing.
2014: Dee Ford, Defensive End
When the Chiefs selected Dee Ford, they were hoping he could pair next to Justin Houston and create a dynamic pass rushing duo. However, Ford had trouble adapting to the NFL and struggled the first couple seasons of his career. In his first two seasons, Ford played 30 games, starting in only five, and made 30 combined tackles, seven tackles for loss, and 5.5 sacks. It was not until 2016 when he became a regular starter, and that is when he started to show his potential. In 14 games during the 2016 season, Ford made 38 total tackles, 12 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, and one forced fumble. He missed most of the season in 2017 due to an injury, but returned in 2018 with a vengeance, making 55 total tackles, 13 tackles for loss, 13 sacks, and seven forced fumbles. It may have taken longer than the Chiefs would have hoped for, but they got the player they were hoping they would get when they drafted him in the first round.
2015: Marcus Peters, Cornerback
Marcus Peters was viewed as arguably the best cornerback in the 2015 draft class, but attitude concerns forced him to slip later in the first round and into the clutches of Dorsey and the Chiefs. Dorsey does not shy away from drafting players with attitude or off-field concerns, so he scooped Peters up. The move paid off immediately as Peters led the league with eight interceptions his rookie season. Peters became a shutdown cornerback for the Chiefs, making 19 interceptions, including two returned for touchdowns, in 45 games. But Peters’ attitude began to create issues with the Chiefs, so they traded him to the Rams last offseason. His numbers were not as good as any of his seasons in Kansas City, but he still played well with the Rams. In 61 career games, Peters has made 194 tackles, four tackles for loss, five forced fumbles, 22 interceptions, and 63 passes defensed.
2017: Patrick Mahomes, Quarterback
Dorsey and the Chiefs made an aggressive trade to move up nearly 20 picks to select Patrick Mahomes, even though they already had Alex Smith as their starting quarterback. But Dorsey could not pass on the potential of Mahomes. Two seasons later, Mahomes is making Dorsey look like a genius. Mahomes sat behind Smith for all but one game in 2017. He was handed the starting reigns in 2018 and dominated the league. Mahomes completed 66 percent of his passes for 5,097 yards, 50 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. His season landed him the MVP and AP Offensive Player of the Year. With Mahomes under center, the Chiefs will be Super Bowl contenders for a long time.
2018: Baker Mayfield, Quarterback
In the 2018 NFL Draft, there was not a consensus top quarterback in the class. For the most part, Sam Darnold was seen as the best quarterback and that’s who the Browns were expected to pick. But Dorsey saw plenty to like about Baker Mayfield and made him the first overall selection. And after Mayfield’s rookie season, it looks like Dorsey made the right choice. In 14 games, Mayfield completed 63.8 percent of his passes for 3,725 yards, 27 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. But it was not only his performance on the field that is impressive, it is his ability to make players around him better. He also has already emerged as the leader of a young Browns team and players will rally around him, no matter what is happening on the field. In one draft as the Browns general manager, Dorsey gave the Dawg Pound the one thing they have wanted and needed for more than a decade – a franchise quarterback.
2018: Denzel Ward, Cornerback
Just a few selections after Mayfield, Dorsey made another surprising selection by picking Denzel Ward. Ward was the best cornerback in the class and was going to be a top-10 selection, but the Browns seemed primed to take a pass rusher. But Dorsey stuck to his board and selected Ward, and it paid off. Despite missing some games due to injuries, Ward showed the potential of being a shutdown cornerback. When he was healthy, Ward managed to shut down one side of the field. He had a knack for finding and making a play on the ball, helping create turnovers. He also showed he was willing to get in the backfield and make tackles. In 13 games, Ward made 53 tackles, five tackles for loss, one forced fumble, three interceptions and 11 passes defensed. If Ward can stay healthy and avoid more concussions, Dorsey and the Browns may have landed one of the next best cornerbacks in the NFL.
There are a bunch of misses in Dorsey’s draft classes, especially in the middle rounds. But when he hit on his pick, those picks typically turned into some of the best players in the league. He may not have a perfect draft history, but there is plenty to like about what Dorsey has done in the draft as a general manager.