3. Earnest Byner, Running Back
A fan-favorite for years with the Cleveland Browns — and No. 7 in their history in rush yards — was running back Earnest Byner who had two separate stints with the club. He started his career in Cleveland as a 10th round draft pick out of East Carolina. While he was drafted incredibly late, he went on to have a 14-year career.
His longevity was primarily due to his ability to contribute in a multitude of ways. Byner was not only a bruising running back, but he also spent time as a return man while proving to be above average at blocking and running routes as a receiver.
After a rookie season that saw him gain 426 yards, Byner became the primary starter in 1985. That year, he rushed for 1,002 yards and added another 460 receiving. What was even more impressive was the fact that he was still sharing the backfield that year with another Cleveland great Kevin Mack, who also topped 1,000-yards.
After spending his first five seasons with Cleveland, Byner went on to join the Washington Redskins. Byner split time as a running back and fullback with Washington and he topped 1,000-yards in two of his first three seasons in the Nation’s Capital and made the Pro Bowl for each of those campaigns. During that span, he was part of the Redskins title run that followed the 1991 season.
He later returned to the Browns in 1994 and moved to Baltimore with the franchise. Byner finished his playing career after spending two seasons with the Ravens. He then went on to win yet another ring as he was part of the Ravens front office staff that won Super Bowl XXXV.