Who is the best player to ever wear number 70 for the Cleveland Browns?
The countdown to 2020 NFL season is upon us. With 70 days remaining until the Browns season opener, we continue the countdown by celebrating the best Cleveland Browns player to ever wear No. 70: Don Colo.
Don Colo was originally selected by the Baltimore Colts in the third round of the 1950 NFL draft out of Brown University. At 6-foot-3 and 252lbs., Colo was an absolute bruiser in his day. Having never played football before he arrived at Brown University, Colo flourished at the physical aspects of the game.
While he felt at home on a football field, Colo had a hard time finding a permanent home in the NFL. Colo was drafted by the Colts but only played one season in Baltimore before playing one season apiece for both the New York Yanks and the Dallas Texans. Playing for three teams in three seasons is an inauspicious start to an NFL career.
However, prior to the 1953 season, Colo was one part of a 15 player trade that saw Baltimore send the Cleveland Browns five players in exchange for 10 players. It was the largest trade in NFL history at the time, and it remains the second largest trade in history to this day. Among the players included in the trade, the Browns getting Colo, Mike McCormack, and John Petitbon, and among the slew of players the Colts received was future Hall of Fame coach Don Shula.
Colo was brought into a perfect situation in Cleveland. Placed at left defensive tackle next to middle guard Bill Willis, Colo proved to fit right in with the Browns defensive front. The Cleveland defense immediately improved upon Colo’s arrival and led the league in points allowed.
Colo had finally found his forever home. The Browns won back to back NFL Championships in 1954 and 1955. Colo was a huge part of the defense’s success, and he was named to the Pro Bowl in both of those seasons.
Colo continued dominating the competition during his final three seasons in Cleveland. The Browns led the league in points allowed in two of those three seasons. Colo was named to the Pro Bowl in his final season for the Browns in 1958.
From struggling to find an NFL home to playing his final six seasons for one of the most successful franchises, reaching the Championship game four times during that span and winning twice, Colo had quite the NFL journey. In 2015, Colo was honored and named to the Browns Legends Program.
Don Colo is the best player to ever wear the number 70 for the Cleveland Browns.