All 38 Cleveland Browns Starting Quarterbacks Since 1999, Ranked Worst to Best

The good, the bad and the ugly all show up on the rankings of all 38 quarterbacks to have started a game for the Cleveland Browns since the franchise returned for the 1999 season.
Baker Mayfield and the other 37 quarterbacks the Browns have had since 1999, ranked.
Baker Mayfield and the other 37 quarterbacks the Browns have had since 1999, ranked. / Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
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5. Josh McCown

Josh McCown is not only the best McCown on this list, but one of the best players on the list overall.

One of the final stops on his league-wide 9-team tour, Cleveland had McCown start 8 games in 2015 and another 3 in 2016.

He only won 1 of those 11 games, but he had some really strong showings along the way. Despite facing constant pressure (he was sacked 41 times), McCown threw for 3,209 yards with 18 touchdowns to just 10 interceptions, for per-game averages of 246.8 yards, 1.4 TDs and 0.8 picks. Plus he added almost 10 yards per game rushing.

Again these are not game-winning numbers, but there haven't been many Browns QBs capable of being a playmaker like McCown without also having the downside of horrific interception rates.

4. Kelly Holcomb

There were 44 quarterbacks to record at least 400 pass attempts between the 2002 and 2004 seasons (the years Kelly Holcomb played in Cleveland).

Holcomb's passer rating of 82.4 was above average, ranking No. 20 in that group and beating out veteran names like Kurt Warner, Jeff Garcia, Jake Plummer and Mark Brunell.

Holcomb didn't get a ton of chances while playing behind Tim Couch, but he showed serious flashes when he did get on the field.

Holcomb's two starts in 2002 saw him throw for a combined 524 yards with 5 touchdowns and no picks. Those games resulted in a 20-7 victory and a 40-39 shootout loss. He even started in the playoffs that year, throwing for 429 yards with 3 touchdowns and 1 pick in a 36-33 loss to the Steelers that can absolutely not be blamed on him.  

It was downhill from there, especially when he got an extended look as a starter in 2003, but that was a tough team for any quarterback to look good on. A high peak and solid overall numbers more than warrant this ranking for Holcomb.

3. Deshaun Watson

Deshaun Watson is the hardest player to rank on this list.

His first season with the Browns was bad, but it was also a partial season after sitting out for more than a full season.

His second season with the Browns was bad, but he was playing with a significant shoulder injury, and the Browns did go 5-1 across his six starts.

What do we make of a guy who has just a 81.7 passer rating in Cleveland after starting his career with a 104.5 mark as a Houston Texan? Are his best days behind him? Is he going to turn it on with the above excuses behind him?

Then there's the fact that he doesn't need to even nearly live up to his ridiculous contract to be one of the best quarterbacks on the list either. After all, we're ranking him on how good he is, not how much he's liven up to expectations.

Another bad year may well send Watson tumbling on this list, while a Pro Bowl campaign would have him pushing for the top spot.