Clay Matthews was one of two first-round selections made by the Browns in the 1978 NFL Draft, along with Hall-of-Famer Ozzie Newsome, making that arguably the best first round in franchise history.
Matthews played 16 seasons in Cleveland and still holds the franchise record for career sacks with 62. He also appeared in four Pro Bowls and made 278 starts in a career that started with Brian Sipe and the Kardiac Kids, continued through the glory years of the Bernie Kosar playoff years, and closed out during the Bill Belichick era.
Drafted out of Alabama in the first round of the 1978 NFL Draft, Ozzie Newsome transitioned from a wide receiver in college to a player that helped transform the tight end position in the NFL.
Newsome holds the franchise record for most catches in a single season with 89, which he did in both 1983 and 1984; is one of just 10 Browns’ receivers to have a 1,000 yard season, and the only player to accomplish it twice; is first in all-time receptions with 662, almost double the total of Dante Lavelli in second place; is tops on career receiving yards; and is fifth in career touchdown receptions.
When Newsome retired after the 1990 season, he was fourth on the NFL’s all-time list for receptions and had caught more passes than any tight end.
He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1999. – Thomas Moore
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