3. Kevin Mack, 1985
The Mack Truck himself, Kevin Mack, was part of one of the Browns greatest backfields of all-time — and considering how great they have been at running back in the past, that’s a huge compliment. Mack was taken in the first round of the 1984 supplemental draft but he elected not to play in the NFL that season.
Instead, the Clemson star decided to head to the USFL where he played for the Los Angeles Express for one season. He then reverted to the Browns in 1985 which was technically his rookie season in the NFL. Once he finally did join Cleveland, he proved to be well worth the wait.
Mack was part of an impressive backfield that saw both him and Earnest Byner top the 1,000-yard mark on the ground. They were just the third duo in NFL history to accomplish this feat and while Byner had more NFL experience (by one season), it was Mack who led the way with 1,104 yards and seven touchdowns. For good measure, he added another 297 yards and three scores on 29 touches.
Like most the other rookies mentioned on this list, Mack set rookie records for the Browns with his yardage but he also had the highest average by a rookie with five-yards per rushing attempt. It was a great start to a long career with the Browns but oddly enough, it was Mack’s only 1,000-yard campaign in his NFL career.