A third-round QB three-peat

Cody Kessler, sacked six times in 29 dropbacks last year, will no longer don the hideous all-orange look. (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Last year I noted a strange coincidence with a trio of Browns quarterbacks who all

  • were drafted in the third round
  • had first names beginning with the third letter of the alphabet
  • wore uniform numbers that were factors of three.

Charlie Frye, Colt McCoy, and Cody Kessler can now be neatly packaged into a triangular box and stashed deep into a low shelf in Browns history.

All three played about half the time as rookies but were eventually traded away for low draft consideration before the end of their first contracts. In Kessler’s case, if he’s on the Jaguars’ game-day roster for at least six games, the Browns will net an extra seventh-rounder next spring.

I confess that before the rookie wage scale took effect with the 2011 CBA, I liked the idea of trying to find a diamond in the rough at the game’s premier position. Back then, high first-round draftees commanded megabucks before they’d proven a thing as a pro. So there was much more savings to be had if a later pick yielded a serviceable quarterback.

That logic no longer holds. I’ll be shocked if the Browns do not keep their first overall pick and use it on the QB they rate the best prospect for 2019 and beyond. To quote Hue out of context,¬†you have to trust me on this one.

Word is the team’s braintrust has yet to decide which passer to select, but they’ll conclude that evaluation this week, even if they wisely keep it under wraps. Conventional wisdom places Kessler’s successor at Southern Cal, Sam Darnold, as the favorite.

And now a Cody coda: strangely enough, the three Cs are not even the only absurd coincidence involving a threesome of Browns QBs in this millennium. The already infamous 22nd overall pick is similarly bizarre:

  • The three QBs most recently drafted at that slot (Brady Quinn, Brandon Weeden, and Johnny Manziel) were all taken by the Browns.
  • The only other QB ever to have played in the league after being taken 22nd overall was Rex Grossman, who was also a Brown in the 2014 preseason.
  • In all three cases, the Browns acquired the 22nd pick via trade
  • In all three cases, they also drafted a non-QB with a top-10 pick that year
  • None of the three QBs played out his rookie contract with the Browns. In fact, only Weeden remains in the league, at least for now.

The 22nd pick of the 2018 draft now belongs to the Bills, who also have the 12th pick and are known to be in the market for a quarterback to succeed Tyrod Taylor, whom they traded to the Browns for — yep, you know it — a third-round draft pick. Erie eeriness, huh?