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News » Browns back in familiar position

Browns back in familiar position

Browns back in familiar position
Draft thoughts for today.

1. Did even the most cynical Browns fan believe that when the team returned in 1999, it would be drafting in the top five in 2009? And that this would be the sixth time in 11 years that would happen? Or that the Browns would be among the NFL's five worst teams six times in 11 years?

2. In 1999, when the Browns took quarterback Tim Couch as the No. 1 pick, I favored running back Ricky Williams. Neither would have helped the expansion situation, and the Browns would have been better off trading that entire pick to New Orleans, as Saints coach Mike Ditka was offering his entire draft for the rights to Williams.

3. In 2000, they had the top pick again and selected Courtney Brown. I thought it was a good idea, a big-time defensive end and pass rusher. When healthy, he was slightly above average, and he didn't stay healthy for long.

4. In 2001, they had the No. 3 pick, and Butch Davis went against the advice of his scouts who favored defensive tackle Richard Seymour. Former Browns coach Chris Palmer made it clear his choice was running back LaDainian Tomlinson. Instead, Davis threw big money at Gerard Warren.

5. When I was writing "False Start" on the Browns' expansion era, I discovered the team had seriously thought of taking an offensive player over Warren - but not Tomlinson. It was Michigan receiver David Terrell! Yikes! Quincy Morgan has had a better career than Terrell!

6. As I write this, Couch, Brown and Warren are all out of Football. Injuries ended the careers of Brown and Couch, while mediocrity ushered Warren out of the NFL.

7. Every time you miss on a high pick, it's a double curse: First, you don't acquire an impact player to change your team. Second, you pay him like a star, and that takes a huge bite out of the salary cap, meaning you don't have money to sign a top free agent.

8.In 2005, Phil Savage took over as general manager, and he was the third man in seven years making the picks. He had the No. 3 selection, and took Braylon Edwards. While the receiver has been annoying and even led the league in dropped passes, he did have a Pro Bowl season in 2007, he does have trade value and at least he's still in the league! That also was a very dismal draft in the top 10, if you go back and check.

9.In 2007, the Browns were in the top 5 again - the fourth time. Savage made the pick - again. He went with Joe Thomas at No. 3, and the left tackle is a two-time Pro Bowler and probably the best Browns draft pick since they returned. Yes, they could have taken Adrian Petersen (No. 7 to Minnesota) and had a franchise running back, but I still love Thomas. It's so hard to find a left tackle with his ability.

10.Now it's 2009, with George Kokinis and Eric Mangini being the fourth management team to pick in the top 5. Having four different front offices in 10 years also might explain why the Browns have only been to the playoffs once since 1999. I have no idea what they'll do at No. 5, but here's some advice: Don't follow the lead of Davis, who traded a second-round pick in 2004 to move up one slot from No. 7 to No. 6 so he could draft tight end Kellen Winslow. Davis has the distinction of being the only Football man who was clearly outmaneuvered by the Detroit Lions and Matt Millen.

To reach Terry Pluto:

terrypluto2003@yahoo.com, 216-999-4674

Previous columns online:


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 24, 2009

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