Cleveland Browns: 10 greatest quarterbacks in team history

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Nov 30, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; A Cleveland Browns cheerleader waves a flag against the Baltimore Ravens at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Ravens won 33-27. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

5. Milt Plum

Some Browns fans might think that Milt Plum was next in line to become the team’s starter after Otto Graham retired in 1955. But it was actually Tommy O’Connell who got the next look. O’Connell was Paul Brown’s starter during the 1956 season, but when he suffered an injury in 1957, Plum took over, and the two eventually shared the job, leading the Browns to the 1957 NFL championship game–a game O’Connell would start, and the Browns would lose to the Detroit Lions, 59-14.

O’Connell left after 1957, and Plum was the Brown’s starter through the 1961 campaign. He made two Pro Bowls with the Browns(1960 and 1961). Plum posted a 110.4 passer rating for the 1960 season. That mark was the best of any quarterback before 1989 and is still fifth all time.

Plum didn’t lead the Browns to any NFL titles during his time in Cleveland, but he did leave his mark on the record books.

In five seasons quarterbacking the Browns, Plum had a quarterback rating of 89.9, which puts him No. 1 among every Browns quarterback to try at least attempt 750 passes. His 66 touchdowns passes are still sixth all-time.

He was traded to the Detroit Lions following the 1961 season and he guided the 1962 squad to an 11-3 mark during his first year in the Motor City.

Like Sipe after him, Plum didn’t look like a prototypical NFL quarterback. But standing at 6-foot-1, 205 pounds, the Browns’ second-round pick in the 1957 NFL Draft threw 122 career touchdown passes in his Browns career.

Next: Bill Nelsen