Looking back over the history of the Cleveland Browns, there have been some great finds in the NFL Draft. Here are their 20 biggest steals of all-time
Teams are built through the NFL Draft, there’s no doubt about that. And as Cleveland Browns fans are well aware, all the love — and scrutiny — gets heaped upon the players taken early in the process. When a player is chosen early, especially first overall which Cleveland is familiar with, there’s a lot of expectation for that kid to perform well.
However, building a good team goes well beyond the first day of the draft. The teams that are able to find sustained success are the ones who find steals throughout the entire selection process. When a team finds a legitimate starter beyond opening night, they’re able to really start building a deep and competitive roster.
For the Browns, they have had their fair share of steals throughout their storied existence — even if they had a rough patch after returning to the NFL in 1999 following a few-year hiatus. Here, we will look at the 20 biggest steals of all-time for Cleveland.
Cleveland Browns best NFL Draft steals of all time: 20. Jordan Cameron
The 2011 NFL Draft didn’t feature a lot of tight ends. After being shut out of the first round, the position finally saw a couple of names come off the board in the second round. The most notable was Kyle Rudolph, the Notre Dame star who was taken at No. 43 overall by the Minnesota Vikings. He’s still their starter today and has been one of the top tight ends in the NFL for years.
However, there weren’t many other big hits in that class. At No. 47, the St. Louis Rams took Lance Kendricks out of Wisconsin. He was the only other tight end taken in the second round. Then in the third, Rob Housler was the lone selection as he went No. 69 to the Arizona Cardinals. Housler didn’t last long in the league and Kendricks, while underrated, has been a reserve for most of his career.
With all that being said, it can be argued that the Browns made out better than both teams who made day-two picks, as they ended up with Jordan Cameron out of USC with the 102nd overall pick in the fourth round.
The USC product started out slow, but ended up developing into a star. By his third season, he was one of the best tight ends in the game. That year, he wound up with 917 yards and seven touchdowns on 80 receptions. At just 25 years old, he was looking like a breakout star — and he was even named to the Pro Bowl in 2013.
He played his way into a $15 million deal over two seasons with the Miami Dolphins. Unfortunately for him, concussions became a real problem and Cameron had to call it a career after playing just 19 games with Miami.
While his moment of fame didn’t last too long, he was still an excellent pick for the Browns.