Cleveland Browns: 15 best running backs of all-time

Full back Mike Pruitt #43 of the Cleveland Browns. (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)
Full back Mike Pruitt #43 of the Cleveland Browns. (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images) /
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Eric Metcalf, Cleveland Browns
Running back Eric Metcalf #21 of the Cleveland Browns. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images) /

8. player. 53. . RB/KR. 1989-1994. Eric Metcalf

Our next running back is a player who had a skill set very reminiscent to what Duke Johnson now brings to the table. Eric Metcalf, who was a nominee for the 2019 Pro Football Hall of Fame Class, was an electric running back, wide receiver and return man during his 13-year career. He became a journeyman the final few seasons of his career, and his longest tenure was his first.

Drafted at No. 13 overall out of Texas in the 1989 NFL Draft, Metcalf stayed with the Browns through the 1994 season. He started out his career strong with 633 yards on the ground and six touchdowns. He also added 54 receptions for 397 yards and four touchdowns during that rookie season.

Related Story. Interview with Eric Metcalf, Hall of Fame Nominee. light

While he also showed off his return skills as a rookie, it was his sophomore campaign where he impressed as a special teams star. That year, Metcalf had 1,052 yards on kick returns with two touchdowns. Those were his only two kickoff returns for scores during his Cleveland career, but he added five as a punt returner before leaving for the Atlanta Falcons where he played from 1995 to 1996.

Metcalf finished his career with the Browns with 2,229 yards which places him at No. 13 all-time for the club. He’s also No. 21 in receiving yards for Cleveland with 2,732 yards. He’s No. 1 all-time for running backs in receiving yards in the franchise’s history, just ahead of his old teammate Earnest Byner.

After leaving the Browns, Metcalf had a 100-reception, 1,000-yard season with the Falcons. He was also part of the trade in which the then-San Diego Chargers moved up in a deal with the Arizona Cardinals for quarterback Ryan Leaf. Still, it was his time in Cleveland that comes to mind when Metcalf’s name is mentioned.