Best Cleveland Browns pass-catcher No. 5: Gary Collins
Back in 1962, the Browns used the No. 4 overall pick on Gary Collins, who was originally the starting punter — a job he held while serving as a backup receiver. Eventually, the 6-foot-4, 215-pounder made it into the starting lineup and he proved to be well worth the investment.
During his 10-year career, he proved to be the model of consistency — both as a receiver and punter. He punted 336 times for over 13,764 yards. He once had a league-leading 73-yard punt in 1963.
Still, it was his play as a wide receiver that most remember him by. In the Browns 1964 NFL Championship Game against the Baltimore Colts, Collins collected five passes for 130 yards and three touchdowns. All three of those touchdowns happened in the second half of the game as well.
That’s a nice way to solidify yourself as a Browns legend.
His best seasons included the 1963 season when he caught 13 touchdowns. In both 1965 and 1966, he was a Pro Bowler as he collected a total of 1,830 yards and added 22 scores.
In all Collins had 331 catches for 5,299 yards and added 70 touchdowns. There aren’t many Browns much better than that. How Collins isn’t in the NFL Hall of Fame still is one of the bigger mysteries of the league, but Cleveland fans still know he was one of the best ever to play for them.