The Cleveland Browns have a rich and illustrious history. With only 87 days until the Browns season opener, we look at the best Browns player to ever wear number 87.
The countdown to the 2020 NFL season is upon us. With 87 days remaining until the Browns season opener, we continue the countdown by celebrating the best Cleveland Browns player to ever wear number 87 — Andre Davis.
Andre Davis was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the second round of the 2002 NFL draft out of Virginia Tech. The speedy wide receiver also excelled in Track and Field while at Virginia Tech. Davis was inducted into the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame in 2012.
Davis was drafted into a good situation with a competitive Browns team and immediately made an impact. In his first professional game, Davis caught a touchdown from quarterback Kelly Holcomb.
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Throughout his rookie season, Davis came up big when called upon, including catching a touchdown in the Browns Wild-Card Playoff appearance to give his team an eight-point lead.
Davis finished his rookie campaign finishing second on the team in touchdown receptions with six, despite being fifth on the team in both receptions (37) and yards (420). Where he shined the most his rookie season was as a kick returner. His efforts as a returner landed Davis on the 2002 Pro Football Writers of America All-Rookie Team.
Davis returned 50 kicks for an astounding 1,068 yards, including a 95-yard touchdown. His ability to hit on big plays combined with where he was drafted gave Browns’ fans hope that the franchise had potentially found a game-breaking wide receiver.
In his second season, the Browns upped Davis’ usage on offense. He finished his sophomore campaign with a team-leading five touchdown receptions, and second on the team in both receptions (40) and yards (576). Although he only recorded 40 receptions, a team-leading 28 of those resulted in first downs. Davis was on track to be the Browns wide receiver of the future.
Unfortunately for both Davis and the Browns, the third-year receiver spent most of 2004 injured and was only able to make seven starts. However, Davis’ most memorable play as Brown came during the 2004 season. During the first quarter of a game versus the in-state Cincinnati Bengals, with the Browns on their own one-yard line, quarterback Jeff Garcia faked a handoff and rolled to his right and hit Davis in stride for a 99-yard touchdown.
The lack of opportunities in his critical third year cost the wide receiver, and the Browns moved on from Davis after the 2004 season. Davis bounced around the league for a few years, before calling it a career after the 2011 season.
Although not a historically great number, Andre Davis is the best Cleveland Browns player to ever wear number 87.
Honorable mention: Keenan McCardell.