To understand where the Browns were standing when the 2004 draft starts, you have to understand how the Browns were from 1999-2004, what brought them to this point. Firstly the Browns had been fucked right from the get-go; many believe that the Browns were made an example of coming back into the league to quell the "expansion" insanity after the Panthers and Jaguars had almost immediate success off their opening seasons. They had less time to get things together and had their ownership led by Al Lerner, who, mind you, HELPED THE BROWNS LEAVE TOWN IN THE FIRST PLACE. They spent a high draft pick on Tim Couch, but forgot that, you know, you have to kind of hit on more than just a QB; you need to protect him, give him weapons, and build up the defense, and through consistently poor drafting, the Browns had sunk Couch even before they made the playoffs in 2002.
But it was what happened in 2003 that killed everything; Kelly Holcomb had stepped in during the Browns' playoff game with Pittsburgh in the seasons prior, so the Butch Davis era opted to start a QB competition between him and Couch. Please, imagine if in 2013 while Aaron Rodgers was hurt, if Matt Flynn had one solid game, and when Rodgers was healed and good to go, the Packers turned around and told Aaron Fucking Rodgers "NOPE, YOU GOTTA EARN YOUR SPOT BACK." That was this. Couch went mental. Holcomb sucked. The team sucked. Butch Davis was on the outs even as 2004 began, but the Browns were now becoming insanely desperate to find some stability at QB, having given up entirely on Tim Couch by this point.
So what did they do? The first event of many which set off the chain which leads us all the way to 2015; They sign Jeff Garcia.