NFL

Cleveland Browns’ Mount Rushmore

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Thanks to the NBA’s Cavaliers, the city of Cleveland has a championship to boast about for the first time in 52 years, but the drought is still going strong for the Browns.

As an organization, the Browns haven’t reached the playoffs in 14 years and they haven’t won a playoff game since 1994.

Yes, 22 years ago.

Having said that, there’s been some extraordinary players throughout Browns history.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the top four players in Browns history.

Jim Brown –  Not only is Jim Brown the best running back in Browns history, he’s arguably the greatest athlete to ever play the game.

Mr. Brown only played nine seasons (all in Cleveland), but it was one of the best nine-year stretches ever.

For his career, Brown averaged over five yards per carry to go along with 12,312 rushing yards and 106 rushing touchdowns.

Brown rushed for well over 1,000 yards every season except for two.

In 1963, Brown rushed for a remarkable 1,863 yards, which is much more impressive when you consider teams only played 14 games during this era.

Also, the great Brown won MVP honors three times, while leading the Browns to their most recent championship back in 1964.

Brown’s legacy will live on forever.

Otto Graham – From the greatest running back in Browns history to the greatest signal caller in franchise history.

Mr. Graham was the first quarterback in franchise history.

Otto Graham was nicknamed “Automatic” and for good reason.

Throughout Graham’s tenure in Cleveland, he led the team to an amazing seven championships, while going to the title game all 10 years of his career.

Similar to Brown, Graham earned MVP honors three times and he was a nine-time first-team all-league selection.

Sure, there isn’t much footage of Graham and more than likely, you’ve never seen Graham play in your life.

However, there’s no denying Graham’s place in Cleveland’s lure.

Lou Groza – Here is one of the most interesting athletes of all-time.

Could you imagine someone being an offensive linemen and a kicker in today’s game?

I’ll answer that for you, no you can’t.

Well, that’s exactly what Lou Groza was.

For as great as Otto Graham was, we must acknowledge the fact that Groza protected his blindside throughout his career.

Nonetheless, he made his mark with his leg.

During his time, special teams wasn’t as coveted as it is today, but Groza changed that forever.

When counting his four AFC seasons, Groza retired as pro football’s all-time leader in points (1,608), field goals (264) and extra points (810).

Now, all of those records have been surpassed by now, but back then, those totals were unprecedented.

Groza spent his entire 21-year career in Cleveland.

Ozzie Newsome – There’s been several tight ends in NFL history who have been credited for advancing the position and Ozzie Newsome is one of them.

What separates him from others was his grace.

Not only was he capable of running through defenders, Newsome was an excellent route runner, which made him a matchup nightmare.

Newsome was selected with the 23rd overall pick in the 1978 NFL Draft.

The hall of fame tight end spent all 12 years in a Browns uniform.

Standing at 6-foot-2, 230 pounds, Newsome totaled 662 catches to go along with 7,980 yards and 47 touchdowns.

Despite all of the incredible accomplishments, the most impressive stat for Newsome was his streak of catching at least one pass for 150 straight games. At the time, this was the second longest streak in league history.


About Mark Gunnels

Mark Gunnels

Mark Gunnels is an NFL columnist for Football Insiders. He has several years of experience covering the NFL and NCAA football. He's the radio color commentator for Lincoln University football. Mark's work has been featured on Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports and Yard Barker.