Browns top 20 QBs since 1999: Baker Mayfield, Joe Flacco among the best

38 QBs have started a game for the Cleveland Browns since 1999
Cleveland Browns, Baker Mayfield
Cleveland Browns, Baker Mayfield / Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
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Tier Five: "Down but not out"

The players in tier five were either not on the team at the beginning of the year or were elevated from the practice squad and eventually etched their names as one of the 38.

4. Jeff Driskel

Brought during the 2023 season finale against the Cincinnati Bengals, Jeff Driskel's entire purpose was to give Joe Flacco a week off to rest. An argument can be made that pulling Flacco in favor of Driskel against the Bengals threw off the magic he was summoning last year.

However, due to his age and experience, head coach Kevin Stefanski made a decision he felt was best for the team. Hindsight is 20/20. Much like all of the players on this list, Driskel was forgettable in his lone start for Cleveland and was not brought back after the season concluded. For the Browns, Driskel had an 0-1 record, 166 yards passing, 2 TDs and 2 INTs.

3. Nick Mullens

Back in 2021, Baker Mayfield suffered the notorious labral tear in his non-throwing shoulder. For a majority of the games Mayfield was forced to sit, Case Keenum stepped into the starting role. However, Nick Mullens was brought in as a backup to Keenum and replaced him as the starter in Week 15 against the Las Vegas Raiders.

Mullens put up a valiant effort, but Cleveland ultimately lost when Las Vegas kicked a field goal as time expired. Mullens' stats include a 0-1 record, 147 yards passing, 1 TD, and 0 INTs.

2. Thaddeus Lewis

For some reason, I was under the assumption that Thad Lewis played more than one season for Cleveland. That assumption, however, was wrong and the 2012 season was the only year he suited up in orange and brown.

He was claimed off waivers, waived, and signed to the practice squad. He would only start one game for Cleveland after injuries to Brandon Weeden and Colt Mccoy forced the Browns to elevate a QB to the active roster. That game, was against the Pittsburgh Steelers in which he lost throwing for 204 yards, 1 TD, and 1 INT against the number one-ranked defense in the NFL.

1. Joe Flacco

The 2023 NFL Comeback Player of the Year shined for the Cleveland Browns. So much so that Browns fans were furious when the team chose to sign Jameis Winston and Tyler Huntley in his place; it also left Flacco equally as surprised as Browns fans.

There's an argument to be made that he could or should be listed in the top tier alongside Watson; truth be told, he originally was. However, with the fact that he was, in a way, a panic option for the Browns he felt better as the unanimous number one here. Flacco's stats last year were 5-1 record, 1,616 yards, 13 TDs and 6 INTs.

Both Bruce Gradkowski and Ken Dorsey started a game apiece for Cleveland, and both played very poorly. Hopefully, Dorsey will have much more success as Cleveland's OC than he did with his opportunity at QB.