Will Deshaun Watson finally put an end to the Cleveland Browns quarterback carousel?
It’s no secret that the Cleveland Browns have been a factory of sadness since returning to the National Football League before the turn of the century. They have been a quarterback and head coaching carousel throughout the last 22 seasons and where every single quarterback that has started a game for the Cleveland Browns seemed to end their career at. The Cleveland Browns have gone through thirty two different starting quarterbacks since returning to the national football league just over two decades ago. Some of them have started for multiple seasons and some of them were only lucky or depending on who you ask, fortunate enough to only start one or two games for the Cleveland Browns.
A couple of different factors will be taken into consideration for this list. Primary factors include key stats like passing yards and touchdowns, rushing touchdowns, completion percentage, and interceptions and turnovers. Also factoring into the list is the number of games they started for the Cleveland Browns throughout their time with the franchise. Postseason success and performance, while extremely rare, may be taken into consideration as well.
Cleveland Browns Quarterbacks: #32-#25
#32- Ken Dorsey
The former Miami Hurricane made three starts for the Cleveland Browns during the 2008 season. He was absolutely abysmal as he also appeared in an additional fourth game. In four games he managed to throw seven interceptions but couldn’t throw a single touchdown pass. He would only complete 43 of his 92 attempted passes for a completion percentage of 46.7%. He would end up with only 370 passing yards and following the season he would retire from the National Football League.
#31- Bruce Gradkowski
Gradkowski wasn’t much better than Ken Dorsey but he certainly couldn’t have been worse. Gradkowski would only make one start for the Cleveland Browns but would appear in two games during the 2008 season. He completed seven of his 21 passes for a completion percentage of 33%. He only managed to gather up 26 passing yards and threw three interceptions but zero touchdowns. He also failed to win his lone start in Cleveland as the Browns were trounced by the Tennessee Titans 28-9.
#30- Luke McCown
Luke McCown had a pretty short stint as a member of the Cleveland Browns but his time here is well remembered for being terrible. He completed 48 of his 98 pass attempts for a completion percentage of 49%. He did manage to throw four touchdowns and he would also pass for 608 yards but his seven interceptions are what keeps him so low on this list under guys that made only one or two starts in their Cleveland Browns career. Ironically enough his older brother Josh would go on to have a better stay in Cleveland than he would long down the line.
Hogan came out of Stanford and he only made one start in his Cleveland Browns career but he did appear in several games throughout his tenure here. He completed 60 of his 101 passing attempts and finished with a 59.4% completion percentage. He threw for 621 yards and four touchdowns and added a touchdown with his feet as well. However, it was the seven interceptions see-through and the one loss in his only start that has him placed at number 29 on this list. After leaving Cleveland he would bounce around the league and is currently with the Houston Texans.
Connor Shaw only made one appearance in his career for the Cleveland Browns and he came out of the University of C South Carolina. In his only appearance for the Browns, he would complete 14 of his 28 passes for a 50% completion percentage. He would throw for 177 yards but couldn’t find the end zone and he had one of his passes intercepted. There is a chance that he could’ve been a decent quarterback given more of an opportunity but he was limited to only one appearance when injuries started piling up for the Browns quarterbacks. After leaving the Browns he had a short stay in Chicago and has been out of the NFL since 2016.
Unlike Connor Shaw before him, Austin Davis made two career starts for the Browns. He also made a few other appearances and mop up duty and moments where other quarterbacks were injured during games. He completed 56 of his 94 passing attempts for a completion percentage of 59.6%. He threw for 547 yards during his time in Cleveland but only managed to find the endzone once. However, he did throw the football to the other team three times and both of his career starts ended with losses. Although, that was a common occurrence during this era of Brown’s football.
In his one career start for Cleveland, he didn’t actually play that bad. He completed 22 of his 32 passing attempts for a completion percentage of 68.8%. He threw for 204 yards and a touchdown; however, he did have an interception as well. Had he been given more time as the starting quarterback there is a chance that he would’ve made some significant progress. After leaving Cleveland he bounced around and even returned to the Browns for a short stint on the practice squad in 2015. He got most of us playing experience in Buffalo worry appeared in six games during the 2013 season. However, he would never take another snap in a regular season or postseason game after that.
Due to his one start in his Cleveland Browns career, Nick Mullens nearly became an instant folk hero in Northeast Ohio. Baker Mayfield and Case Keenum missed the game due to Covid protocols and if it had not been for a defense that collapsed at the end Mullins would’ve got the Browns a win. He completed 20 of his 30 passing attempts for a 66.7% completion percentage. Through for 147 yards and a huge touchdown at the end of the game And nearly kept the Browns playoff hopes alive in 2021. He came into the league and spent four years with the Niners and now he’s back in Las Vegas backing up Derek Carr with the Raiders.
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