The Browns inglorious history of Round 7 draft picks

It always seems like draft picks are going to be superstars, but what was the last time a number seven turned out well?
It always seems like draft picks are going to be superstars, but what was the last time a number seven turned out well? / Mark Zaleski/ For The Tennessean
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Historically speaking, the Cleveland Browns have had a terrible time finding talent in Round 7 of the NFL draft. In the past 10 years, they have selected 10 players with zero real successes for their team, although a few of them had some level of success after getting cut by the Browns and catching on with other teams.

Just as a very crude yardstick, let's consider how many seasons each player actually played in the NFL, both for Cleveland or somewhere else, and how many games the players played in and how many starts they made.

The Browns Terrific Ten from Round 7 played in eight combined seasons, totaling 81 games in all for their careers, with five starts. That's slightly less than one full season on average, with about eight games for the average length of their tenure in Cleveland.

Six of these players have gone on to have careers with other teams. Linebacker Hayes Pullard was the most accomplished of the group, having played four seasons in the NFL and having started a total of 12 NFL games, with his best year coming for the Los Angeles Chargers in 2017. Zane Gonzalez has had some success kicking for Carolina and Arizona. Thus, post-Browns stats total 13 seasons, 132 games, and 13 starts. The gory details are listed below.

Garrett Gilkey, Pullard, Scooby Wright III and Gonzalez all put up better numbers for other teams. This suggests that the fault may not be with the scouting or draft process, but more with the failure of the coaching staff to develop talent. This is especially unflattering because in most seasons it should have been easier to make the Browns team compared to other NFL teams.

Year Player Name Pos CB G St OS G St TOT G St
2022 Isaiah Thomas DE 1 10 0 1 10 0
2022 Dawson Deaton C 0 0 0 0 0 0
2019 Donnie Lewis CB 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017 Zane Gonzalez K 2 18 0 4 45 0 6 63 0
2017 Matthew Dayes RB 1 16 0 1 7 0 2 23 0
2016 Scooby Wright III LB 0 0 0 2 13 0 2 13 0
2015 Hayes Pullard LB 0 0 0 4 46 12 4 46 0
2015 Ifo Ekpre-Olomu CB 0 0 0 0 0 0
2013 Armonty Bryant DE 3 31 4 1 5 0 4 36 4
2013 Garrett Gilkey T 1 6 1 1 16 1 1 22 2
TOTAL 8 81 5 13 132 1 20 213 6 Key to abbreviations: Pos = position; CB = seasons played for the Cleveland Browns; G = games played; St = games started; OS= seasons played for other teams.

As far as the Browns are concerned, Armonty Bryant was the most successful Round 7 pick of the past 10 years, with three seasons in Cleveland, and four starts, albeit for weak defensive teams.

Look, on the one hand, it's impossible to criticize anyone who was ever drafted by the Browns or anyone who played one down for the team because it takes an incredible amount of talent and effort just to get there. However, that said, the aggregate numbers of their seventh-round picks don't really blow anyone away.

Now, let's ask whether the Brown's divisional rivals did any better.