April 28, 2007
BEREA, Ohio (AP) -Brady Quinn’s wish was granted after all. Just not nearly as soon as he had hoped.
Cleveland didn’t pass up a second chance at drafting the Notre Dame quarterback, who before he wore the Fighting Irish’s famed golden helmet, strapped on the Browns’ plain orange one as a kid.
After 20 teams let him slide past in Saturday’s NFL draft, the Browns traded their second-round pick (No. 36 overall) and first-round pick in 2008 to Dallas at No. 22 to move up and select Quinn, saving him more embarrassment on a day when he quickly went from desired to forgotten.
“We felt like it was worth it,” Browns general manager Phil Savage said.
Once considered a possible No. 1 overall pick, Quinn, who grew up in the Columbus, Ohio, suburb of Dublin, slid deeper than he or anyone expected.
Seconds after being taken, Quinn exhaled before slowly walking onto the stage at Radio City Music Hall and being presented with a No. 1 Browns jersey by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
“It’s really living out a childhood dream,” he said. “It’s funny how you think when the opportunity has passed you and you’re not sure what to expect. You don’t count on a team coming back in the picture like that. It’s a dream come true.”
Earlier, the Browns landed a big one, selecting Wisconsin tackle Joe Thomas with the No. 3 pick instead of Quinn. Thomas skipped a trip to New York to go fishing with his father and friends on Lake Michigan.
Once Quinn began to slide, Savage began working the phones to find a partner to trade with. He finally found one 2 1/2 hours later in the Cowboys, who have Tony Romo but may have been tempted to take Quinn.
The 6-foot-3, 232-pounder came to the Browns with a high recommendation from Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis, who worked with Cleveland coach Romeo Crennel in New England. While they were with the Patriots, the two coaches were around Tom Brady so both have a good idea what an NFL quarterback should look like.
Quinn fits all that criteria: big, strong and polished.
“We didn’t expect Brady Quinn to fall as far as he did,” Savage said. “We started calling teams at No. 12. We had Brady rated very high on our board, just not top three.”
A four-year starter in college, Quinn could immediately step into the starting job ahead of Charlie Frye, Cleveland’s primary starter before getting hurt late last season.
Although he’ll be a rookie, Quinn will walk into a better situation in Cleveland than Tim Couch – the No. 1 pick in 1999 – or Frye did. He’ll have plenty of weapons on a Browns offense, which will have tight end Kellen Winslow, wide receiver Braylon Edwards and running back Jamal Lewis.
He’ll also be protected by a revamped offensive line that will have Thomas and Eric Steinbach, who signed as a free agent with Cleveland in March, on the left side.
Savage is hopeful that getting a franchise left tackle and quarterback could change Cleveland’s luck. The Browns have been undermined by costly injuries since their expansion return in 1999.
“This will probably be the day that defines the Browns’ turnaround, if indeed it does happen,” Savage said. “If we are going to do it, this is one of those stepping stone days.”