Browns 75th anniversary all-time team: Brian Sipe, Myles Garrett, Nick Chubb, Mike Pruitt, Doug Dieken among latest additions

·10 min read

We're rolling with our labor of love, "The 75 Greatest Browns Players, Plus One For The Toe."

This is the third installment revealing an all-star team meant to wake up ghosts, spur memories and spark conversation. It coincides with the 75th anniversary of the Browns' debut year, 1946.

Our all-time team was assembled in the form of a draft by four long-time Browns writers. The panel worked 19 rounds, with the draft order being — oldest to youngest, age range 79 to 65—- Ray Yannucci, Mike McLain, Steve Doerschuk and Steve King.

We present the team in five portions, in reverse order to stir a little drama, and will provide a full list, 1 through 76, at the end.

Browns quarterback (17) Brian Sipe in the huddle against the Los Angeles Rams, Nov. 26, 1978 at Cleveland Stadium. The Browns defeated the Rams 30-19. (Tony Tomsic-USA TODAY NETWORK)
Browns quarterback (17) Brian Sipe in the huddle against the Los Angeles Rams, Nov. 26, 1978 at Cleveland Stadium. The Browns defeated the Rams 30-19. (Tony Tomsic-USA TODAY NETWORK)

Miss the first two parts of this series? Read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

Still at the less obvious stage, here's the the third group of 15 players. A comment on each player is provided by the person who drafted him.

Browns fullback Kevin Mack in action against the Detroit Lions at Cleveland Municipal Stadium, Sept. 28, 1986.
Browns fullback Kevin Mack in action against the Detroit Lions at Cleveland Municipal Stadium, Sept. 28, 1986.

46, Running back Kevin Mack

Browns career: Mack spent his first year out of Clemson in the USFL, with the Los Angeles Express, then spent his entire NFL career (1985-93) in Cleveland.

Mike McLain: He overcame an off-field issue to give the offense a downhill power runner with good speed. He surpassed 5,000 rushing yards and scored 46 touchdowns. His best year was his first, 1985, when he ran for 1,104 yards at 5.0 per carry. His biggest touchdown came in a 1986 playoff comeback against the Jets, cutting a deficit to 20-17 in the fourth quarter.

45, Defensive tackle Walter Johnson

Browns career: A No. 27 overall draft pick in 1965 (New Mexico State), he spent 12 seasons with the Browns, covering 174 games, before finishing in 1977 with the Bengals in his native Cincinnati.

Browns defensive tackle Walter Johnson (71) pursues Vikings quarterback Joe Kapp (11) during the 1969 NFL Championship game at Metropolitan Stadium, Jan. 4, 1970, in Bloomington, Minnesota. The Vikings won 27-7.
Browns defensive tackle Walter Johnson (71) pursues Vikings quarterback Joe Kapp (11) during the 1969 NFL Championship game at Metropolitan Stadium, Jan. 4, 1970, in Bloomington, Minnesota. The Vikings won 27-7.

Ray Yannucci: Johnson was an outstanding and durable interior lineman who never missed a game in 12 Browns seasons. He was a stalwart on one of the best defensive units of that era, on a team that posted winning records in his first eight years. He also was a pro wrestler, which speaks to the skills that helped him register 66 sacks, a statistic that did not become official until 1982.

44, Defensive back Clarence Scott

Browns career: A No. 14 overall draft pick in 1971 (Kansas State), Scott played his entire 13-year pro career with Cleveland, covering 190 games.

Steve King: For many, the debate as to "best Browns cornerback" boils down to 1980s teammates Hanford Dixon and Frank Minnifield. Add Clarence Scott. He was the opposite of "The Corner Brothers" in personality, quiet and unassuming. After eight seasons at corner, when Sam Rutigliano felt he had slowed, he went to safety without saying a word. His ballhawking led to a huge interception in a 1980 Kardiac Kids victory over Houston.

Browns linebacker Vince Costello (50) tackles Washington receiver Charley Taylor, Nov. 8, 1964, in Cleveland. The Browns won 34-24.
Browns linebacker Vince Costello (50) tackles Washington receiver Charley Taylor, Nov. 8, 1964, in Cleveland. The Browns won 34-24.
Browns linebacker Vince Costello (50) intercepts a pass from Baltimore Colts quarterback Johnny Unitas during the 1964 NFL Championship Game at Cleveland Municipal Stadium, Dec. 27, 1964. The Browns won 27-0.
Browns linebacker Vince Costello (50) intercepts a pass from Baltimore Colts quarterback Johnny Unitas during the 1964 NFL Championship Game at Cleveland Municipal Stadium, Dec. 27, 1964. The Browns won 27-0.

43, Middle Linebacker Vince Costello

Browns career: Undrafted out of Ohio University, he played pro baseball before a long run with the Browns, 1957-66, covering 134 games.

Steve Doerschuk: Costello's parents were Bartolomeo Giordonno and Celesta Menna when they lived in Italy. The family name was Americanized to Costello. Vince played six-man football for Magnolia High School as a 16-year-old 1948 senior and didn't become a Brown until nine years later. He was the only Brown to start on defense in the 1957 and 1964 NFL title games. The 27-0 rout of the Colts in '64 included a Costello interception (pictured at right) and was his career game. No, I didn't pick him because his nephew Greg Marino was my barber.

Browns receiver (85) Dave Logan in action against the Houston Oilers at Cleveland Stadium, Sept. 13, 1981.
Browns receiver (85) Dave Logan in action against the Houston Oilers at Cleveland Stadium, Sept. 13, 1981.

42, Wide receiver Dave Logan

Browns career: A No. 65 overall draft pick in 1976 (Colorado), he was with the Browns through 1983, covering 117 games. He made 262 catches for 4,247 yards and 24 touchdowns.

Mike McLain: He was a superb athlete capable of making great catches. The 6-foot-4 Logan would have been a star if the Browns had fielded a basketball team. He played hoops in college and was drafted by the NBA's Kansas City Kings. He had a seven-catch, 135-yard game against Pittsburgh in 1979 and an eight-catch, 131-yard splash against the Steelers in 1980, which tells you where he fit in with The Kardiac Kids.

41, Wide receiver Ray Renfro

Browns career: A No. 48 overall draft pick in 1952 (North Texas), the 6-foot-1 Renfro played his entire 10-year pro career in Cleveland, catching 281 passes for 5,508 yards and 50 TDs.

Ray Yannucci: Before Paul Warfield, there was Renfro, a big-play receiver with tremendous speed and quickness. "The Rabbit," like Warfield, made the most of his opportunities. Warfield scored every five receptions. Renfro's rate was a TD in every 5.6 catches. Renfro often was used out of the backfield, which spelled trouble for linebackers. In retirement, he tutored Warfield, the Browns '64 first-round draft choice. To this day, Warfield is grateful.

40, Running back-receiver Dub Jones

Browns career: The No. 2 overall pick of the 1946 NFL draft (Chicago Cardinals/LSU), Jones opted to play in the rival AAFC and didn't joining the Browns until 1948. In eight years Cleveland, he ran for 2,210 yards and 21 TDs and caught 171 passes for 2,874 yards and 20 TDs.

Steve King: The last living player from the Browns' great early teams, he was overshadowed by Marion Motley, Dante Lavelli and Mac Speedie, but he held his own with them as a runner and a receiver. In a 1951 game against the Bears, he shredded the Monsters of the Midway with an NFL record-tying six TDs. He was offensive coordinator for the Browns' 1964 championship team.

Browns safety Thom Darden (27) breaks up a pass for Raiders tight end Raymond Chester (88) as linebacker Dick Ambrose (52) moves in during an AFC playoff game in Cleveland, Jan. 4, 1981. (AP Photo, File)
Browns safety Thom Darden (27) breaks up a pass for Raiders tight end Raymond Chester (88) as linebacker Dick Ambrose (52) moves in during an AFC playoff game in Cleveland, Jan. 4, 1981. (AP Photo, File)

39, Safety Thom Darden

Browns career: A No. 18 overall draft pick in 1972 (Michigan), he played 130 games in a pro career stretching through 1981, covering 130 games, all with Cleveland.

Steve Doerschuk: The Sandusky native's interception against Ohio State prompted Woody Hayes to rip apart a yard marker. He led the NFL with 10 interceptions in 1978 and owns the franchise record with 45 picks. As a rookie in the 1972 playoffs, his long punt return was part of the Browns getting to the cusp of a win over the undefeated Dolphins. He was still kicking in the 1980 playoffs when the defense played well in a 14-12 loss to the Raiders.

Former Cleveland Browns lineman and current radio broadcaster Doug Dieken works from the field before a game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Dec. 11, 2016, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard, File)
Former Cleveland Browns lineman and current radio broadcaster Doug Dieken works from the field before a game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Dec. 11, 2016, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard, File)
Cleveland Browns offensive tackle (73) Doug Dieken during the 1972 Season. (Tony Tomsic-USA TODAY NETWORK)
Cleveland Browns offensive tackle (73) Doug Dieken during the 1972 Season. (Tony Tomsic-USA TODAY NETWORK)

38, Left tackle Doug Dieken

Browns career: A No. 142 overall draft pick in 1971 (Illinois), he played in 207 games across 14 seasons, all for the Browns. He never missed a game.

Mike McLain: Dieken's durability exceeded that of Joe Thomas, who got hurt in his 11th year and retired. Dieken replaced Dick Schafrath, who played 183 games, late in the 1971 season. Dieken is undervalued because of the great left tackles in team history. His long run as an announcer truly makes him Mr. Brown. Who can't like a guy with a license plate that read ME HELD, later changed to HE HELD?

37, Running back Nick Chubb

Browns career: With two second-round picks in 2018, the Browns drafted Austin Corbett at No. 33 and Chubb at No. 35. Through 54 games, Chubb rushed 4,483 yards at 5.3 per carry, with 37 rushing-receiving TDs.

Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb runs during the first half of an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)
Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb runs during the first half of an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)

Ray Yannucci: As I said all last year, and continue to say, Chubb is the best player and MVP of the current team. He has had more impact of the Browns' success than any other player. He consistently comes up with big plays when needed, and he PUTS POINTS ON THE BOARD! Chubb is on pace to surpass such greats as the two Pruitts, Kevin Mack and Earnest Byner.

36, Linebacker Walt Michaels

Browns career: A No. 86 overall draft pick in 1951 (Washington & Lee), he was traded to the Packers, traded back to Cleveland in 1952, and wound up playing 126 games for the Browns across 10 seasons.

Steve King: Before Michaels was a successful Jets head coach, he was one of the NFL's best linebackers in the 1950s, a mainstay on defenses that because of the iconic players on offense never got credit for how great they were. He started on five teams that went to league title games and went to five straight Pro Bowls (1955-59).

Myles Garrett
Myles Garrett

35, Defensive end Myles Garrett

Browns career: A No. 1 overall draft pick in 2017 (Texas A&M), Garrett gave the Browns 58.5 sacks in his first 66 games, including one of Patrick Mahomes in the playoffs.

Steve Doerschuk: Garrett may be headed for the top 10 on the Browns' all-time team, but for now he's in his fifth season, having missed 13 games in the previous four. The NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award has been given since 1971, when Canton's Alan Page won it. No Brown ever has. Garrett is a candidate to take it this year, which says plenty about his career arc. He often leaves you wondering if there should be more. What he provides is pretty good.

Browns kicker Phil Dawson celebrates a 35-14 win over the Giants in a game Monday, Oct. 13, 2008, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Browns kicker Phil Dawson celebrates a 35-14 win over the Giants in a game Monday, Oct. 13, 2008, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

34, Kicker Phil Dawson

Browns career: He was a Brown for 14 seasons (1999-2012). After he went 14 of 15 on field goal tries of 50 or more yards in his 13th and 14th years, he was allowed to go elsewhere and kicked until he was going on 44.

Mike McLain: He gave the Browns a franchise-high 1,271 points, including kicks that defy logic in terrible weather. A likable mad scientist, Phil introduced us to the "Venturi effect" — science of how wind swirls when flowing through the narrow openings at the corners of a stadium. He scored the first rushing TD when the Browns returned in 1999 on a fake field goal. Teammates didn't look down on this kicker. They looked up to him.

Browns quarterback Brian Sipe in action against the New York Jets at Cleveland Municipal Stadium, Dec. 7, 1980.
Browns quarterback Brian Sipe in action against the New York Jets at Cleveland Municipal Stadium, Dec. 7, 1980.
Cleveland Browns quarterback Brian Sipe is shown in a 1981 photo.
Cleveland Browns quarterback Brian Sipe is shown in a 1981 photo.

33, Quarterback Brian Sipe

Browns career: A No. 330 overall draft pick in 1972 (San Diego State), he posted a 57-55 record as a starter in a Browns career that spanned 1972-83. He was 40-29 from 1976-80.

Ray Yannucci: Sipe was the trigger man of the Kardiac Kids, whose 1980 season was the most magical in Browns history. Not to mention he was the NFL MVP that year. He also is first on the Browns' all-time career list in attempts, completions, yards and TD passes. He also holds Browns single-season records for completions, yards and TDs. Not bad for a guy who was drafted in the 13th round.

32, Running back Mike Pruitt

Browns career: A No. 7 overall draft pick in 1976 (Purdue), Pruitt played nine of his 12 NFL seasons for the Browns, rushing for 6,540 yards and 47 touchdowns.

Steve King: In a franchise with four Hall of Fame running backs, Pruitt is third in both rushing yards and rushing TDs. He had early fumbling problems to fall into Coach Forrest Gregg's doghouse. Sam Rutigliano arrived in 1978 and infused confidence. Pruitt rushed for 1,000-plus yards in three straight years (1979-81) and caught 63 passes in each of the last two, leading the Kardiac Kids in receptions. No one was complaining about his hands then.

Reach Steve at steve.doerschuk@cantonrep.com

On Twitter: @sdoerschukREP

This article originally appeared on The Repository: Browns 75th anniversary all-time team selections part 3