2010 – CB Joe Haden(Round 1: 7th overall)
Joe Haden should still be a Cleveland Brown. Released in 2017 because of morons in the front office, the still-Pro Bowl-caliber player should have a few more years of post-season awards coming his way. He’s also playing for the most stable team in the NFL not named the New England Patriots. So he’s going to have more opportunities to get to the playoffs with the Steelers.
Taken in the 2010 NFL Draft seventh overall, Haden made a splash right away and became a legitimate lockdown corner, earning two Pro Bowl nods in 2013 and 2014. He suffered some injuries for a bit but was still a viable player. Sashi Brown felt that it was a good idea to haggle with Haden over some money. An insult to Haden, who like Joe Thomas before him, loved it in Cleveland and wanted to retire a Brown. There were attempts, allegedly to meet in the middle of a new deal, but Sashi Brown was adamant of Haden taking $7 million and not a dime more.
Haden found out he was cut on August 30, 2017. He received notice of his release, sneezed, blew his nose, and had a $9 million deal from Pittsburgh in mere seconds (ok, a few hours, but still). Haden has earned himself a big contract after the 2020 season when he’ll still only be 31.
Save for one other player, the Browns had a horrid draft. Sure, Colt McCoy had potential and is a good NFL backup, but running back Montario Hardesty, offensive tackle Shawn Lauvao, wide receiver Calton Mitchell, and defensive end Clifton Geathers didn’t make a peep during their time on the team.
(Honorable Mention: TJ Ward)
T.J. Ward was also picked up by the Browns in this draft, going 38th overall in the second round. Ward, like D’Qwell Jackson and Haden before him, was a Pro Bowl player for the Browns. If it wasn’t for Ray Farmer, maybe Ward would’ve still been a Brown after the 2013 season.