Editor’s note: The NFL Draft is over. No one is completely sure when training camp and the regular season will begin for the NFL. So we may be entering an NFL quiet period that is more quiet than usual.
To help fill in that space, we are starting a series to determine the best player to wear each jersey number in Cleveland Browns history. This may be fun - or it may be madness - but we are going to give it a go, starting with uniform No. 1.
The Cleveland Browns have had just two players wear No. 1 in franchise history, but it is a relatively easy choice for the best player to wear that number.
Cleveland selected Southern Mississippi wide receiver Michael Jackson in the sixth round of the 1991 NFL Draft and he would wear No. 1 for his first two seasons with the Browns.
While he never played a full 16 games in a season during his five years with the Browns, Jackson did finish with more than 700 receiving yards in three of those five years, and had a knack for finding the end zone as he had seven touchdown catches in 1992, eight in 1993 and nine in 1995.
Jackson led the Browns with seven receptions for 122 yards in the team’s playoff win over the New England Patriots on Jan. 1, 1995 - still the last playoff win for the Browns - and was on the receiving end of the final touchdown pass that quarterback Bernie Kosar threw as a Cleveland Brown, a 38-yard score on Nov. 7, 1993, against the Denver Broncos.
Jackson moved to Baltimore when the Browns became the Ravens in 1995 and had his best year in 1996 when he had 76 receptions for 1,201 yards and a NFL-leading 14 touchdowns. He played with the Ravens for three seasons before retiring following the 1998 season at the age of 29.
Tragically, Jackson was killed in a motorcycle accident in 2017 at the age of 48.
In his five seasons with the Browns, Jackson had 170 receptions, 2,797 yards (No. 20 on the all-time franchise list) and 28 touchdown receptions (No. 9 on the all-time list).
The only other player to wear No. 1 for the Browns was kick returner Dino Hall, who sported the number for one season in 1979 after signing with the Browns as an undrafted free from Glassboro State College (now Rowan University).
The 5-foot-7 Hall quickly became a fan favorite as a kick returner during his five-year career, all with the Browns. He is No. 2 on Cleveland’s all-time list with 151 kickoff returns and 3,185 return yards, while also being No. 5 with 111 punt returns and No. 8 with 901 punt return yards.
He only scored one touchdown in his NFL career, which came on a 52-yard run against the St. Louis Cardinals in his rookie season. (The touchdown run is part of the above video clip.)
Hall certainly made his mark on the Browns, but Jackson is the clear choice as the best player to wear No. 1 in franchise history.
Who was the best player to wear No. 1 in Browns history?
This poll is closed