BACKDRAFT SERIES: For 16 days leading up to the 2011 NFL Draft, we're rolling out capsule draft histories of each of the 32 NFL Teams.
2011 Draft Position:
First-Ever NFL Draft Pick:
• Ken Carpenter, HB, Oregon State, (1st Round, 13th overall, in 1950. (Note: The Browns started out in the rival All-America Football Conference before joining the NFL in 1950).
Most Recent Draft Pick:
• Clifton Geathers, DE, South Carolina (6th Round, 186th overall, in 2010).
Hall of Famers Drafted:
• Art Donovan – 4th Round (50th overall), 1951 (Also Selected in 3rd Round of special selection draft, 1950. Also selected in 22nd round - 204th overall - of 1947 NFL draft by the New York Giants and in the 17th round - 131st overall - in the 1949 AAFC draft by the Buffalo Bills)
• Doug Atkins - 1st Round (11th overall), 1953
• Willie Davis - 15th Round (181st overall), 1956
• Jim Brown - 1st Round (6th overall), 1957
• Henry Jordan - 5th Round (52nd overall), 1957
• Gene Hickerson - 7th Round (78th overall), 1957
• Bobby Mitchell - 7th Round (84th overall), 1958
• Dick LeBeau - 5th Round (58th overall), 1959
• Paul Warfield - 1st Round (11th overall), 1964 (Also drafted in 4th round - 28th overall - of AFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills.)
• Leroy Kelly - 8th Round (110th overall), 1964
• Ozzie Newsome - 1st Round (23rd overall), 1978
First Overall Pick in the NFL Draft:
• 2000 – Courtney Brown, DE, Penn State
• 1999 – Tim Couch, QB, Kentucky
• 1954 – Bobby Garrett, QB, Stanford
Did you know?
Many draft experts labeled the talent pool "not that strong" in 1978. That apparently didn't deter the Browns from acquiring extra picks that year to bolster their lineup. Cleveland picked Southern Cal linebacker Clay Matthews with the 12th overall pick and they were back on the clock at the 23rd spot thanks to a first-rounder acquired from the Los Angeles Rams (through a deal that also included additional picks and the involvement of two other teams, the Washington Redskins and Chicago Bears). Cleveland grabbed Ozzie Newsome, a receiver from Alabama. Matthews played nearly two decades for the Browns while Newsome became one of the finest pass-catching tight ends in history during a career that earned him election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
"They are at a premium especially with the way NFL teams have been completing passes the past few years. They are the No.1 need of a lot of clubs," opined Atlanta Falcons head coach Leeman Bennett after the 1981 NFL Draft. "The situation has elevated defensive backs to a higher place in the draft than in some of the previous years."
Bennett and the Falcons had their eye on Hanford Dixon, a defensive back from Southern Mississippi. But, their plans were derailed after Dixon became the fifth DB to go in the first round of that year's draft. The Browns, who had the NFL's worst pass defense in the year before, grabbed him at 22nd overall, three picks in front of Atlanta.
Dixon went on to anchor the Browns secondary for nine seasons.
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