Cleveland Browns: 15 best running backs of all-time
Coming in at No. 13 in our all-time list is Peyton Hillis, the former Madden cover athlete. Hillis was a seventh-round pick of the Denver Broncos back in 2008 out of Arkansas and was originally listed as a fullback. In two seasons with Denver, he had just 397 yards, but did score six touchdowns — five of which came during his rookie campaign.
He joined the Browns in 2010 as a piece of the trade puzzle that sent former first-round quarterback Brady Quinn to Denver. And it didn’t take long for Hillis to become a star for the Browns. Cleveland had him working as a fullback and tight end, but injuries forced him into a halfback role by Week 3. And he never gave the job up after that.
Hillis became one of the hottest players in the league during that 2010 NFL Season as the 250-pound running back went for 144 yards and a touchdown in his first start. He then followed it up with 102 yards and another score in his second game as their bell cow back. He had three more games with at least 100 yards, with his season-high coming in Week 9 as he went for 184 yards and two touchdowns in a surprising 34-14 win over the New England Patriots.
By the time the season ended, Hillis had 1,177 yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground. He added another 61 receptions, 477 yards, and two touchdowns through the air. Unfortunately, he wasn’t as good the following season, as injuries limited him to just 10 games and 587 yards rushing.
Cleveland then was unable to keep Hillis, who signed with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2012. That ended up being for the best as he never recaptured the magic he had during 2010. Hillis played just three more seasons after leaving the Browns, lasting just one year each with the Chiefs, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and finally New York Giants.