There have been many bad draft picks made by the Cleveland Browns but these five first-round picks take the prize for being the biggest busts
There have been many bad NFL draft picks made by the Cleveland Browns over the years and because of that, this franchise has struggled to find a positive identity since it returned as a franchise in 1999. Most recently the team has done better with their selections and started to have better success.
Defensive end Myles Garrett was selected at No. 1 in the 2017 NFL Draft and the following year quarterback Baker Mayfield was taken No. 1 as well. While Mayfield will be traded in the coming days, his four years as the team’s leader have been more positive than negative. Last year the Browns drafted cornerback Greg Newsome II in the first round and that seems to be a solid acquisition to this point.
Those are the good picks but there have been far too many picks that went south quickly. I can remember very vividly when the Browns drafted linebacker Barkevious Mingo in 2013 in the first round at pick No. 6 and not only surprised the NFL with the pick but all Browns fans worldwide. While Mingo actually lasted in the league until last season, the aftereffect of such an “out of left field” selection really has stuck in the memory bank of many.
You’d think that the Browns franchise learned a lesson from that pick, but they didn’t and that’s where we will begin with our discussion of the five biggest first-round busts in recent memory.
Cleveland Browns biggest bust in first round No. 5: QB, Johnny Manziel
The hype train was in full effect for “Johhny Football” coming into the 2014 NFL Draft. He was an exciting collegiate player out of Texas A&M and every game he played in was “much see TV.” The problem for Manziel coming into the league was that he was small and even though he could move and escape defenders running around trying to make a play, he wasn’t smart enough on a variety of levels to succeed.
He was drafted by Cleveland at No. 22 and the initial shock of pick and some excitement by many quickly went south — like by the next day.
His biggest issue was his being enamored with himself. He also liked to party all the time off the field and wanted to be a Hollywood celebrity rather than a football player.
Manziel was brought up in a very pampered lifestyle and in the end, he simply didn’t want to put in the required work to be an NFL player. He lasted two seasons with the Browns and finished with a career 2-6 record and threw seven touchdowns to his seven interceptions.