Brady Quinn may not have been a star but his draft-day selection was a night to remember.
Terry Pluto of Cleveland.com recently sat down with the former Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Cleveland Browns quarterback, Brady Quinn. The former standout spoke candidly about his draft experience in 2007. Quinn famously was one of the few players invited to New York for the NFL Draft and many expected him to either go to Oakland, Detroit, Cleveland, Tampa Bay, or Miami at the absolute latest, who were picking ninth. Quinn recalled to Pluto how he knew he was in trouble when Miami went with Ted Ginn Jr.
"When that happened, I knew I was in trouble. Most teams coming after them didn’t need a quarterback."
Having sat in the green room with other first-round talents during the day of the draft, and being the last one there hours later, many felt bad for Quinn. Some at the commentary booth wanted him to be picked just so he didn’t have to wait there anymore. He was eventually moved away from the cameras and found out the Ravens wanted to trade up to No. 23 to get Quinn. A good sign of things to come. Even better news came right after, as the Browns leap-frogged the Ravens, traded with the Dallas Cowboys for the 22nd pick, and selected Quinn. Seeing as Quinn always wanted to play for the Browns, this was an amazing moment; one he thought wouldn’t come because Cleveland wanted someone else.
Former Browns GM Phil Savage wanted Quinn but told him and his representatives the night before the draft that they were taking Joe Thomas at No. 3 if he were there, and that they didn’t want Quinn to get his hopes up. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that not only did Savage pull off a trade at No. 22 to get Quinn, but that he had been trying since the No. 12 pick, with the Buffalo Bills, to move up to get their quarterback. After all, the team wanted Quinn as well as Thomas.
The whole interview is beyond wild, with Quinn recalling sitting down with Oakland for a pre-draft interview, only to be told off right at the start that the Raiders were taking JaMarcus Russell, and having then-owner Al Davis question Quinn about how he likes the silver in the Oakland Raider’s helmets. Give it a read.
Brady Quinn struggled but that 2007 Draft will always be memorable.
Pro sports are entertainment. No one watches a league with poor action or no name value. That’s the first thing people get wrong about sports. It’s not about championships, it’s about entertainment and making money. If a league or team is not profitable, that league or team won’t be around after a while. It’s why the AFL and the Cleveland Rockers no longer exist. Entertainment and excitement are every bit as important as the actual game.
As someone who watched the 2007 NFL Draft play out, I can safely say that the story of Quinn falling to the Browns at pick No. 22 was one of the most exciting moments of the season, and maybe in the history of Cleveland Browns’ drafts.
No one thought he’d fall to No. 10, let alone to No. 22. Sure, the Browns gave up a 2008 first-round pick and a 2007 second-round pick, but the excitement the city got to have at that moment was almost worth it.
The Browns got him, they got their guy. The fans, well, they lost their heads. It was a night of euphoria for many. Granted it didn’t last long.
By 2009, Savage was gone, so was head coach Romeo Crennel and anyone who had hope for Quinn. Instead, Eric Mangini was hired; a man who may have been a worse coach than Hue Jackson. He yo-yo’d the quarterbacks and did an absolutely poor job managing the team.
No wonder they got gutted and fell even further into the doldrums.
One last note of interest from the Pluto article is that Quinn acknowledged part of the problem with his career was the instability at the position and pointed to Baker Mayfield, saying that Mayfield finally has that and Quinn expects big things from Mayfield in 2021. It was also revealed that Quinn is still a Browns fan.
So even if he didn’t lead the team to a Super Bowl, at least he’s still one of us.