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NFL Cleveland Browns: 5 Most Electrifying Players in Team History

John StantonContributor IIIOctober 10, 2016

NFL Cleveland Browns: 5 Most Electrifying Players in Team History

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    An electrifying football player is one who excites the audience with plays that make them wonder, How did he do that?

    The Cleveland Browns franchise has been lucky enough to have had many electric players wear the orange and brown. Unfortunately, none of these electrifying players were able to bring a Super Bowl championship to Cleveland.

    When compiling my list of the most electrifying players I came to the decision to have the top five be on the offensive side of the ball. I understand that during their time the Browns have had many great defensive players. But in my eyes, none can compare to the excitement brought to the field by my top five.

    I would have loved to do the top 20 electrifying players because then I would not have to leave out such names as Eric Metcalf, Brian Brennan, Bernie Kosar, Marion Motley, Clay Matthews, Bill Willis and so on. 

    However, I believe the list I have assembled illustrates what it really means to be an electrifying football player. Enjoy.

5. Leroy Kelly

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    Accomplishments: 6-time Pro-Bowler, 5-time All-Pro First Team, NFL 1960s All-Decade Team

    Statistics: 7,274 yards rushing, 90 Total TDs

    Strictly Jimy Brown's backup during his first two seasons, Leroy Kelly quickly made a name for himself by taking back three punt returns for touchdowns. But once Jim Brown announced his retirement, Kelly was able to step right in and gain near 1,150 yards and 15 TDs on 5.5 yards per carry.

    Kelly lead the NFL in rushing in both 1967 and 1968, while being named to the NFL 1960s All-Decade Team.

    Not the bruiser that Brown was, Kelly's successful career was due to his great balance and ability to evade direct hits, evident by his lack of injuries. He only missed four games in 10 seasons.

    Of all the players on this list, Kelly had the toughest job—replacing Jim Brown—and he did not disappoint. 

4. Joshua Cribbs

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    Accomplishments: 2-time Pro-Bowler, 2-time All-Pro First Team, NFL 2000s All-Decade Team

    Statistics: 9,172 total return yards, 15 total TDs

    The only active player on this list, Cribbs has continually shown to be one of the most electrifying returners of all time.

    Rather than achieving return success through speed and elusiveness, Cribbs possesses a rare combination of toughness and acceleration that allows him to break wimpy tackles during returns. Also, only a six-year veteran, Cribbs is already the all-time NFL leader in kickoff return touchdowns with eight.

    Cribbs has quickly become this generation's Eric Metcalf—only better. And hopefully with a few year left in his career, Cribbs can start making a reputation as a player who can consistently contribute on offense as a receiver.

3. Otto Graham

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    Accomplishments: 5-time Pro-Bowler, 9-time All-Pro First Team, NFL 1950s All-Decade Team, 2-time NFL Champion, 4-time AAFC Champion

    Statistics: 23,584 yards passing, 174 TDs

    After his military duty, Otto Graham was offered a contract by Paul Brown to play football in Cleveland. Switching from tailback in college to quarterback in the pros, Graham made the transition look easy.

    Quickly becoming the most prolific passer of his era, the Graham-led Browns dominated in the AAFC, winning four consecutive championships.

    Many at the time thought that Graham and coach Brown's success would not translate to the NFL. But Graham proved them wrong by winning two championships in five seasons.

    The greatest quarterback in Cleveland Browns history, Graham deserves to be the third-most electrifying Brown of all time.

2. Ozzie Newsome

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    Accomplishments: 3-time Pro-Bowler, 2-time All-Pro First Team, NFL 1980s All-Decade Team

    Statistics: 662 receptions, 7,980 yards, 47 TDs

    Playing his entire 13-year career in a Browns uniform, Ozzie Newsome retired from football as the most prolific tight end ever. Newsome was a big reason why the Browns were able to play in the AFC title game three times in the 1980s against the Denver Broncos.

    Inducted in the NFL Hall of Fame in 1999, Newsome was not only a leader on the field but also a person devoted to community service off the field.

    Newsome played in 198 consecutive games for the Browns, and during that span made at least one reception in 150 consecutive games.

    With the possible exception of Paul Warfield, Newsome is the Browns' greatest receiver threat of all time, making him the second-most electrifying player in Browns history.

1. Jim Brown

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    Accomplishments: 9-time Pro-Bowler, 8-time All-Pro First Team, NFL 1960s All-Decade Team

    Statistics: 12,312 yards rushing, 126 Total TDs

    The greatest football player ever to play the game, Jim Brown is the most electrifying player to ever wear a Browns uniform. With a rare combination of size and speed, Brown was able to average a remarkable 5.2 yards per carry during his career.

    When he left the game, Brown held records for most rushing yards in a season, career rushing yards, total touchdowns and most all-purpose yards.

    Still ranked eighth on the NFL's all-time list, Brown has solidified himself as a football icon and a Cleveland sports hero.

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