Is Two Better Than One?

Updated: April 25, 2015

Two is not always better than one according to Browns draft history. In the last eight years, the Browns have drafted two players in the first round three times. Each time, the results have left fans wanting more.

In 2007, Joe Thomas and Brady Quinn were both part of a class that many believed would finally turn the Browns around. While Thomas is on his way to the Football Hall of Fame, Quinn was a bust, bouncing around from team to team following his tenure as a Brown.

This was one of the few pictures we could find of Brady Quinn wearing a shirt.

In 2012, the Browns had another shot to add two players in the first round. Trent Richardson, a running back from Alabama, was drafted third overall. After a promising rookie season, Richardson was traded to Indianapolis for a first round pick. While surprising at the time, it turned out to be a prudent move as Richardson did little for the Colts, showing an inability to break tackles or run by defenders. The second first round pick was Brandon Weeden, a quarterback from Oklahoma State. Weeden’s tenure at quarterback was dismal at best. While he possessed a strong arm, he showed little pocket-awareness, accuracy, or ability to make those around him better.

In 2014, the Browns had another chance to select two players in the first round. The selection of Justin Gilbert, a corner from Oklahoma State, was praised by most fans and analysts for being a safe pick and great fit next to Pro Bowl corner Joe Haden. However, Gilbert struggled to get on the field and it was later disclosed that Gilbert had maturity issues off the field. The Browns made noise around the football world when they moved up to select Johnny Manziel. Fans clamored for Manziel before the season. But when Hoyer led the team to some unexpected victories, the Manziel chants became a little quieter. As Hoyer started to falter, Manziel finally got his chance to prove his ability to lead an NFL team. However, Manziel was nothing short of terrible in his limited action. Much like Gilbert, Manziel was immature off the field. At best, both Gilbert and Manziel are unknowns going into the 2015 season.

Johnny nerd

What do these three drafts tell us?

The failure to add impact players at the top of the draft has impeded the Browns success. Of the six players the Browns drafted in the first rounds in 2007, 2012, and 2014, only three remain on the team. And only one can be penciled in as a starter.

The Browns must not draft a quarterback with the 22nd pick. Quinn, Weeden, and Manziel were all selected at 22 overall.

What to expect this year?

This year the Browns hold the 12th and 19th picks in the draft. If last year is any indication, Farmer is not afraid to move around to pick guys he wants. He made three trades within the first round alone last year so don’t be surprised to see the Browns move around on draft day.

The immaturity of Gilbert and Manziel will likely lessen the chance that the Browns will take many risks in the first round. Every pick is a risk but players with character concerns are likely lower on the Browns draft board this year.

Expect the Browns to take at least one lineman, either offensive of defensive, with their first three picks. Danny Shelton, a defensive lineman from Washington, is commonly mocked to the Browns.

Be ready to make a splash. The Browns always seem to be active on draft day. Taking Manziel and passing on Mark Sanchez to trade down and select Alex Mack have been a couple of recent moves that have made headlines.

Thursday night should be a lot of fun. This draft is deep at positions in which the Browns have needs. Just please don’t take a QB at 22.

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