Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 3/19/13
The Cleveland Browns are a stone's throw away from a 50 year championship drought (depending on whether or not you count the years that the team didn't exist).Their recent draft history definitely doesn't help.  They've had some good years, like in 1978- they drafted TE Ozzie Newsome, now a world-champion GM with the Baltimore Ravens, and LB Clay Mathews JR., father of Clay Mathews III and Casey Mathews.  2012 also appears to have at least been a decent year with Trent Richardson playing like a star running back and Brandon Weeden at least not reaching a Michael Vick rate of turnovers.However, they've had their fair share of mistakes and regrets.The very first pick of the reinstated Cleveland Browns was Tim Couch, a quarterback the Browns believed they could build around.  He played for 5 years, throwing only 64 touchdowns while giving up 67 interceptions. When a team picks a quarterback first overall, they anticipate a better TD:INT ratio than that.  That's why Couch was out of the league by 2004.The next year wasn't much better.  Defensive end Courtney Brown was the first pick overall, and again, he failed to make a great impact.  Brown played 16 games for his rookie season, and then played another 16 over the next two years.The Broncos gave him a shot in 2005, when he played in 14 games (13 as a starter).  Brown produced two sacks and 25 total tackles- bad even by 3-4 standards (where a defensive line is expected to eat up blockers).  Too bad Brown was playing in a 4-3 and expected to make plays.Of course, an old team like the Browns will also have some older draft mistakes.  They've struggled with wide receivers for a long time.In 1973, they selected wide receiver Steve Holden, who would rack up 62 catches for 927 yards and four touchdowns... over a span of four years.  Different era or not, those are terrible numbers.  He played one more year for the Bengals, and didn't catch a single pass there.This after trading away Paul Warfield for the third pick in the 1970 draft to select Mike Phipps, a career backup quarterback.  It's a major trend: the pass game has not been kind to the Browns.For the Browns, that's about the worst it gets before mentioning the Brady Quinn trade in 2007.The biggest regrets on draft day aren't bad picks or passing up on players: they're the blockbuster trades that fail.  Brady Quinn is a prime example of that.The Browns traded away their 2008 first round pick to move up from the second round and take Brady Quinn, a player who has completed only 53.8% of his passes, and has only 12 touchdowns to go with his 17 interceptions.This is a player who struggled to take the starting job from Derek Anderson, is on his third team in five years, and will probably never be the best quarterback on his team.  A first rounder is a high price to pay for someone so mediocre.And THAT is the definition of regret.
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