Since returning to the NFL in 1999, the Cleveland Browns have had issues drafting. They couldn’t find a starting quarterback until 2018, they have yet to get a true star receiver through the draft who can produce multiple succesful seasons, and let’s not get into the whole running back discussion because it will bring up Trent Richardson.
With that being said, there’s one area where they have been able to really find a lot of talent which is along the offensive line. Mitchell Schwartz just missed this list but has been a stud for several years in the NFL. There was also Joe Thomas who set a record for playing 10,363 consecutive snaps at left tackle.
Those edge blockers were solid but Cleveland has also done well in the interior. In 2014, they landed Joel Bitonio out of Nevada. Once he was selected, Cleveland had an incredible line as they were starting Thomas, Schwartz, Bitonio, and Alex Mack for part of 2014 and the majority of 2015 (Mack missed 11 games in 2014 and Bitonio missed five in 2015).
As for Mack, the Browns selected the California center with the 21st pick in the 2009 NFL Draft and he wasted no time becoming a starter. He didn’t miss a snap throughout his first five seasons with the team — as well as through the first five games of 2014, but that streak ended with a broken leg that year. During that stretch, Mack was named to two Pro Bowls for the Browns.
Since then, he’s returned to his durable ways but unfortunately, the majority of that has been with the Atlanta Falcons. Mack left in the 2016 offseason and has since made three more Pro Bowls. Thankfully for the Browns, they did well in replacing him with J.C. Tretter, but that doesn’t mean he should have been allowed to leave.