By Drew Zuhosky
Fans of the Cleveland Browns might know the number 92, and here’s the reason why.
Since the NFL returned to Cleveland in 1999, the Browns have won 92 regular season games. Here’s another number for you: 11.
Back in the 1994 NFL season, the Browns posted an 11-5 regular season record — the most wins in a season since going 12-4 in 1986 and their first winning season since going 9-6-1 in 1989.
Enough about the past; let’s discuss this Browns’ season. Last Sunday, NFL fans in Cleveland did not have to worry about whether the Browns would go 0-13, because they were off on their bye week.
This team hasn’t won a game all season, and now the organization and fans are heading into familiar territory, an early first round selection on NFL Draft night along with all of the marathon conjecture on sports talk shows between the end of the regular season and draft night.
We’ve seen this play out before. Every single year, it seems that the Browns’ front office will either draft a player that the fans wanted — only to watch said player never materialize, or draft a player the fans didn’t like.
Still, there have been times where it looked like they got it right. 2007’s draft saw quarterback Brady Quinn from the University of Notre Dame, yet Quinn did not start until 2008, having been the backup to Derek Anderson.
Quinn wound up having two stints as the starter in Cleveland before being traded away to the Denver Broncos in 2010.
Speaking of 2010, the Browns’ fans were hopeful going into the draft that the organization would select former University of Texas quarterback Colt McCoy.
After some delay, which extended into the second night of that year’s draft (this being the first year of the draft being a three-day event), they drafted him in round three, with the 85th overall pick.
McCoy lasted two seasons before being succeeded as Browns starting QuarterBack by Brandon Weeden, whom the Browns drafted out of Oklahoma State University in 2012.
Weeden remained the starter in Cleveland through 2013, after which he moved on to the Dallas Cowboys, and the Browns moved on to Johnny Manziel.
After a series of off-field transgressions and immaturity displayed by Manziel, among other things, he is no longer in the NFL.
In fact, of all the top-tier QuarterBacks drafted by the Browns since 2007, only Weeden and McCoy are still in the league. Quinn is an analyst for FOX Sports.
So, that brings us to the current day. In a few months, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell might open up the NFL Draft by announcing to a crowd in Philadelphia, “The Cleveland Browns are now on the clock.”
The question of who the Browns will draft in the first round in April can’t adequately be answered at the moment. It’s far too early for me to be making guesses like that, especially since none of the bowl games in college football have been played yet.
After the bowl games, the Shrine Game and Senior Bowl, the Browns organization will start to have an idea as to who they might want to target for the draft and will have a better idea after the NFL Combine in February.
As long as the Browns stay healthy consistently in 2017, I think they’ll do just fine.
By the way, this is the final Press Box Perspective for the 2016 calendar year. Good luck to all graduating seniors and to those graduating in the spring, only one more semester to go!
I’ll be back in the New Year talking about whatever. Happy Holidays, and I’ll talk to you on Jan. 12, everybody!