Who will be the new Browns starting QB? While We’re Waiting

My brothers started a new football-related Thanksgiving weekend tradition over the last two years. No, it wasn’t just the Ohio State-Michigan game or watching some of the NFL’s bests compete on national TV. The tradition has to do with predicting the next season’s Cleveland Browns.

Ever since the team returned in 1999, fans have been waiting on a string of successful seasons to remind them of the Old Browns of yesteryear. It hasn’t happened yet. But hope remains in the form of talented early-20s college students who may transform the roster overnight. And there is hope out there for a long-tenured quarterback who may finally save the day.

That is what led my brothers, Adam and Sam, and their two friends, Nick and Zak, to begin that inaugural Thanksgiving tradition in 2015: Predicting who they think would be the Week 1 Browns quarterback starter for the next season. It’s a hard game! With a few weeks left of the regular season, let alone the entire offseason and the draft, it’s an inexact science and prone to wild guesses.

The 2015-leading-into-2016 results were understandably mixed. At the time of Thanksgiving 2015, the Browns had Johnny Manziel, Josh McCown and Austin Davis as quarterbacks on the roster. So, naturally, those had to be the first picks. But from there? It was a crapshoot of highly regarded draft prospects, veteran free agents and potential young backup quarterbacks who could be acquired in a trade.

The team’s eventual Week 1 starter was Robert Griffin III, taken as the No. 23 pick by Nick. Cody Kessler, selected No. 25 by Adam, started a season-high eight games, and McCown, selected No. 2 also by Nick, started three games. RG3 became the first Browns quarterback since Charlie Frye in 2006 to start both Week 1 and Week 17 in a single season. Unfortunately, due to injuries, he started only three other games.

But as of Thanksgiving 2016, Griffin was still on the active roster. As was Cody Kessler, of course, and McCown (until early February). So those had to be the early draft picks this time around heading into the 2017 season. And because last year’s winner was taken so late in the draft, a decision was made to expand it from nine rounds out to 11 rounds. How did the rest of the draft go five months ago? Here’s the whole list:

Round 1

1. Cody Kessler – Sam

2. Robert Griffin III – Nick

3. Josh McCown – Zak

4. Deshaun Watson – Adam

Round 2

5. Mitchell Trubisky – Adam

6. Jimmy Garoppolo – Zak

7. DeShone Kizer – Nick

8. Ryan Fitzpatrick – Sam

Round 3

9. Case Keenum – Sam

10. Jay Cutler – Nick

11. Terrelle Pryor – Zak

12. Tony Romo – Adam

Round 4

13. Kirk Cousins – Adam

14. Nick Foles – Zak

15. Carson Palmer – Nick

16. Blaine Gabbert – Sam

Round 5

17. E.J. Manuel – Sam

18. Brock Osweiler – Nick

19. J.T. Barrett – Zak

20. Brandon Allen – Adam

Round 6

21. Colin Kaepernick – Adam

22. Sam Bradford – Zak

23. Blake Bortles – Nick

24. Mark Sanchez – Sam

Round 7

25. Brad Kaaya – Sam

26. Paxton Lynch – Nick

27. Derek Anderson – Zak

28. Alex Smith – Adam

Round 8

29. Baker Mayfield – Adam (did not declare for draft)

30. Kevin Hogan – Zak

31. Andy Dalton – Nick

32. Johnny Manziel – Sam

Round 9

33. Christian Ponder – Sam

34. Tyrod Taylor – Nick

35. Jake Browning – Zak (was not eligible for draft)

36. Patrick Mahomes – Adam

Round 10

37. Matt Schaub – Adam

38. Drew Brees – Zak

39. Eli Manning – Nick

40. Philip Rivers – Sam

Round 11

41. Trevor Siemian – Sam

42. Scott Tolzien – Nick

43. Colt McCoy – Zak

44. Brian Hoyer – Adam

Yet again, it seems that Nick might have the luck of the draw with his No. 18 selection of Brock Osweiler, who wasn’t acquired by the Browns until early March 2017. There are certainly some head-scratchers — why did my brother bother with Johnny Manziel again and why was an underclassman selected? — but overall, this list wasn’t too bad.

Even five months out, despite the fact that the Browns have since released Griffin III and McCown, this 11-round snake draft doesn’t look that horrible. Leading into draft night tonight, all indications seem to be leading toward the Browns liking Northeast Ohio native Mitchell Trubisky. But would Osweiler or Kessler still start Week 1? It’s a mystery. It means that Adam, Nick and Sam all look like possible winners. Which makes a game like this all the more intriguing heading into the next few months.

Links I’ve enjoyed from around the sports web:

  • Garry_Owen
  • tigersbrowns2
  • Garry_Owen

    I assume you mean Kiper and Mayock, and not G_O and RGB, and you weren’t just thinking out loud?

    Though, upon reflection, I wouldn’t hold that observation against you, as least as it pertains to me . . .

  • Garry_Owen
  • Garry_Owen

    Also, with the NFL Network’s coverage, there’s Rich Eisen, and he’s a Michigan Man. (Despite that fact, I like him.)

  • RGB

    His 40 yard dash for charity at the end of the Combine is priceless.

  • mgbode

    The writer in me almost wants the Browns to draft Mitchell so that I can use this arc.

    The fan in me is slapping the writer side of me upside the head though.

  • And today’s my birthday too. So Sashi, bring me something good.


  • mgbode
  • mgbode

    unlike Harbaugh, Eisen has the decency to wear a shirt when he participates

  • CBiscuit

    Anticipatory sad draft gifs…welcome to Browns draft day folks!

  • Garry_Owen

    Draft Day is Gpodawund’s high holy feast.

  • Garry_Owen

    And a tie.

  • humboldt

    January is the post-harvest purging festival

  • tigersbrowns2
  • tigersbrowns2
  • tigersbrowns2

    NFL network for me …

  • JNeids

    For the love of god why can’t I find that Spiderman pointing at Spiderman pic that I see 100 times a day on Tweeter?!
    (The Batman slapping Robin meme would have also played)

  • RGB

    Can you spell that without checking?

  • Pat Leonard

    Dangit… I can’t find a gif of Otter from Animal House wearing no shirt and loosening his tie. Why is this nowhere to be found??

  • Chris
  • Garry_Owen

    At this point, yes. It took a while, but I’ve made it.

  • Pat Leonard

    Did you make this gif RGB? I should have you horse whipped for leaving the shoulder-shimmy guy out of it. GO BROWNS WIN THE DRAFT! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/630840ed4806c5d7ec416229f80278f60ba532b3b57532997f1c36b108d775ab.gif

  • Eric G

    There aren’t nearly enough Gollum gifs

  • mgbode
  • RGB

    So, on a semi-related note…
    My brother (who lives in Medina) announced he’s getting married. First weekend in October.
    After a quick calendar check…Browns at home vs Jets! Woohoo! Wedding AND a Browns game.
    Then he announces…October 8th. What? Who the hell gets married on a Sunday. UGH!
    My protests fell on deaf ears.
    Maybe I can convince him to get married at the stadium…

  • humboldt

    Rings are not allowed in First (Last?) Energy stadium

  • humboldt

    There are also alternative Old World (pre-1999) and New World (post-1999) spellings that allow for some latitude

  • Pat Leonard
  • CBiscuit

    Heck no getting married there. I see it now: He’ll make a lifetime commitment to her and then fire her after one year (and end up paying her for the contract).

  • RGB

    He’s still paying for the first one, and this one doesn’t want to move to Seattle, so he may be safe…

  • tigersbrowns2

    hi RGB … i got married at old Municipal Stadium in the Dawg Pound on Dec. 20th , 1992 … 30 below wind-chill … had a blast ! enjoy the draft !

  • Chris

    Totally unrelated, but that made me think of “Floaters and Sinkers” on MXC. Do they still play this anywhere?


  • Garry_Owen

    I had a friend that got married in Columbus on a Saturday – but not just any Saturday; no, it was the Saturday of The Game. And during The Game, at that.

    Notice I said “had.”

  • RGB

    Down here getting married on Georgia Bulldog Saturday’s is frowned upon.

  • chrisdottcomm

    I’m literally only here today to see what GIF you used.

  • chrisdottcomm

    You could literally go ahead and sell the team if they do that because it’ll be another 5 years before they could hope to be competitive.

  • chrisdottcomm

    I’d love to read a WFNY staff roundtable discussion on ESPN’s decision to let go actual writers/reporters versus the overpaid bloated former athlete talking heads.

  • CBiscuit

    That’s bad form. But did you really have to kill him though? A little too much…

  • Garry_Owen

    Excuse me. It was The Game.

  • mgbode

    I don’t think we like our articles to be all curse words though.

  • JNeids
  • JNeids

    Hue, you were hoping to draft someone else with the first pick, weren’t you?


  • Saggy

    thank you. all others are just biters.

  • Saggy

    Once he gets on the good drugs he’ll be fine. I’d take him at 12 if available.

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  • mgbode

    I don’t think drugs cure arthritis. Dulls the pain for a bit, yes.