5 Best Cleveland Browns third round draft picks since 1999
The third round of the NFL draft can be where the true hidden gems are found. For some reason or another, these are players who are considered talented but not top-end talent. The Cleveland Browns have found some very good players at this point in the draft since returning 21 years ago.
The Cleveland Browns have not been known for their great drafting but there have been a lot of great players that start their career in Cleveland. Ultimately most of them end up somewhere else and the Browns are left without a playoff berth since 2002, but those who stay are beloved.
Cleveland is a very unique, special place so some players are drafted here and never want to play anywhere else, they feel a great connection with the fans and the city as a whole.
The draft is one of the most important aspects of building a successful football team. The NFL has a hard salary so you can’t pay everybody and when you lose players it is crucial that you have drafted well or else the team could suffer.
By the time you get to the third round of the draft, the top 64 prospects are off the board so you have start drafting players who have been passed on for one reason or another; they went to small school, legal trouble in college or any of the million other things that can make a team not draft a player.
Cleveland has actually drafted well since returning before the new millennium even though it hasn’t been reflected in their record. Some players haven’t played well for the Browns and went elsewhere and been good.
Not everyone who was deserving could make the list so here is a couple of honorable mentions that didn’t quite make it. Terrence West is a running back drafted with the 94th pick in 2014. West played 43 career games although just 14 of them were for the Browns and was never a full-time starter, he rushed for 1,816 yards and 11 touchdowns and 344 receiving yards and two touchdowns in his five-year career but he didn’t produce much in his one season in Cleveland so he didn’t make the list.
Another fan favorite who left town early is Carl Nassib, who was the 65th pick in 2016. He spent his first two seasons in Cleveland and wasn’t the full-time starter but he produced when he got the chance. He started 12 games in 2017 and really started to come into his own at the end of the season. The Browns still decided to move on from him before the 2018 season. He has 12 sacks in the last two years with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Now, for the five players that did make the list.