The Cleveland Browns, as you may know, have selected a quarterback with the 22nd pick in the draft three times since 2007. There was Brady Quinn, there was Brandon Weeden and now there’s Johnny Manziel.
Isn’t that strange?
“Yeah, it’s weird that we all got drafted in the same spot in the first round – and all by different GMs,” Quinn said on The Doug Gottlieb Show. “That’s a little bit weird. I think it’s weird that Trent Richardson was the third pick of that draft with Weeden (in 2012), and Joe Thomas was the third pick (when I was drafted in 2007). There’s all types of weird coincidences that kind of occurred around the past first rounds for the Cleveland Browns.”
Quinn, who grew up near Columbus, cheered for the Browns throughout his childhood and adolescence. Unfortunately, he never quite had the success in Cleveland that he wanted to have, throwing for 10 touchdowns and nine interceptions in 14 games over three seasons.
Getting drafted is an odd dynamic, Doug Gottlieb observed. When you’re drafted, everyone is great to you; everyone loves you; you’re the future. But when things go bad, people turn on you.
“I don’t have any ill will toward Cleveland,” Quinn said. “I personally felt like I really didn’t get to finish what I had kind of started, and obviously it didn’t help that we had a coaching change, the GM changed and then all of a sudden the people who were involved in drafting you are no longer on your side and supporting you.”
The Browns won their last four games in 2009 under Eric Mangini, but Quinn was traded to Denver that offseason for Peyton Hillis. Quinn spent two seasons in Denver but did not play in any games. He also spent time with the Chiefs, Seahawks, Jets, Rams and, most recently, the Dolphins.
Still, Quinn has no ill will toward the Browns for trading him.
“I grew up rooting for the Browns for such a long period of time as a young kid,” he said. “Even if the fans were upset, they were never more upset than I was about our lack of success there and what we weren’t doing right.”
Quinn, 29, believes that NFL teams, in general, should start a rookie quarterback over a veteran journeyman.
“From the perspective of the team, it’s different from a financial perspective,” he said. “With the new CBA, the draft is slotted. The money’s not as big as it used to be. I think Sam Bradford was the last quarterback (to get) a monster deal for being a first-round pick as a quarterback. You don’t see that as often anymore.”
“The other side of it is once they get an opportunity to get in there and play, you’re able to evaluate if they’re able to play at a high level without really spending much money. And you can use that money to invest on the defensive side of the ball, which I think you’ve seen the Seattle Seahawks do, or you (can) invest in other talent around that quarterback (in terms of wide receivers or offensive linemen).”
“I think teams have found a way to make it work, especially early on with some of these rookie quarterbacks. If they are close to being ready, they want to go ahead and plug them into that situation, give them a year or two and see what they make of it.”