Apr 17, 2024 - Sports

Today in history: 🏈 Browns draft Tim Couch

Browns quarterback Tim Couch getting pancaked by a Baltimore Ravens defender

Couch gets pancaked. Photo: David Maxwell/Getty Images

On April 17, 1999, the Browns made one of the biggest blunders in NFL draft history.

Flashback: The 1999 season marked the return of football to Cleveland after owner Art Modell moved the original team to Baltimore after the 1995 season.

  • As an expansion franchise, the Browns were granted the first pick in the 1999 draft.

The intrigue: The team selected University of Kentucky quarterback Tim Couch, one of the highest-graded quarterbacks in draft history, who was expected to lead the Browns' storied franchise back to prominence.

Reality check: He played just five seasons in Cleveland, throwing 64 touchdowns and 67 interceptions.

The other side: Cleveland could have selected quarterbacks Donovan McNabb and Dante Culpepper instead. Both had Pro Bowl careers.

The bottom line: Couch was a starting point for more than two decades of quarterback woes in Cleveland.


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