The Cleveland Browns have not always had the best luck in the NFL Draft, but at least one player from each class stood out to some degree.
When looking at the Cleveland Browns draft classes since 1999, it’s hard to say for sure that they’re any different than any other team in the NFL with the rate of which their first-round picks pan out. It’s also hard to say they aren’t worse than those very same teams too. The Browns have had some rough drafts and some rough selections. Yet, they’ve had more first-round picks in the last 21 years than they had opportunities for. Namely, to the tune of 26 first-round picks.
Let’s commend the Browns on that. Only twice in 21 years have the Browns not had a first-round draft pick, 2008 and 2019. The 2008 draft actually had half of its players show some success on the team, granted there were only four picks that year but still. The 2019 draft, the most recent before this upcoming year’s was the pick traded away for Odell Beckham Jr. So when you look at the totality of draft picks, at least the Browns know their value, unlike say the Cleveland Cavaliers who just about every year of LeBron Jame’s tenure traded away valuable picks for old, haggard, past-their-prime stars (save for Kevin Love).
Even with the increased number of players, they still didn’t always pan out. Sometimes the best players in the draft came in the second, third or seven seventh rounds. Well not seventh, but I’m sure there’s a fifth or sixth-rounder here.
So when looking through each of the 21 Cleveland Browns draft classes since 1999, it’s important to remember that sometimes the best players were hidden deep in the draft. Sometimes it’s right on the edge of the second round, others not. So with all that said, let’s look at the best players from each draft class.