Return Policy: The Top 5 Kick Returners in the NFL

Sam AliContributor IIIMarch 24, 2011

Return Policy: The Top 5 Kick Returners in the NFL

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    This week the NFL owners voted to move the starting point of kickoffs from the 30-yard line to the 35-yard line. However, touchbacks will remain at the 20-yard line. This puts a dent into one of the most exciting plays in all of football. Touchbacks are likely to soar, that is if we even have a season.

    This slideshow will showcase the five most dangerous kick returners in the league right now.

5. Leon Washington

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    It's pretty amazing to see a player take a kickoff back to the house. It's even more amazing when the guy does it twice in one game!

    Leon Washington had two kick return touchdowns against the Chargers last season. The second has to be seen to be believed. It looked like he was down and then he turned on the nitro boost and scored the game-changing touchdown.

4. Percy Harvin

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    The Vikings started to pull him off kick returns last year in order to make him a big part of the offense. But nobody can deny the impact this guy has made in his first two years. All he needs is a seam and he's gone.

    Blazing speed and ridiculous agility make Harvin one of the best with the ball, whether he's on offense or special teams.

3. Brad Smith

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    He might be the most underrated player you have never heard of.

    His impact was felt last season as he made big plays on special teams when the Jets needed it most. He has deceptive speed so some teams tend to kick to him thinking they can catch him.

    In a win versus the Bengals last year, Smith had a kick return TD and a rushing TD as well. He is the true definition of an X-Factor.

2. Joshua Cribbs

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    A man who has publicly voiced his displeasure with the new rule change, Cribbs has every right to complain. He is the all-time leader in kick return touchdowns. Cribbs has had a knack of turning nothing into something on kick returns. One second you're saying "Yeah they got him" and the next second you're saying "HOLY SH**! HE'S GONE!" 

    Many will say he is one of the best athletes in the entire NFL. 

1. Devin Hester

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    It's very simple: Do not kick to this man. If you do, you will end up like Todd Sauerbrun.

    When the Bears moved Hester to wide receiver, fans thought he was doomed. But when he had opportunities to return kicks, he made the best of them. He is one of the few players in the league that are pointless to chase after. You will not catch him.

    Oh yeah and he did become the first player in NFL history to take the opening kickoff of the Super Bowl for a touchdown. And that was in his rookie season.

The NFL Owners Are Buzzkills

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    Please feel free to comment on others you think should be on this list or about the rule change in general.