The Cleveland Browns possess a sneaky-good all-time team when you reach a bit further back to the 1950s and 1960s to factor in the likes of Otto Graham and Jim Brown.
Pro Football Talk has been doing a Mt. Rushmore series that is nothing groundbreaking, but it is always a fun offseason game to play. PFT is ending the nomination part of their series with the Browns, but they are also including the city’s run with a football franchise before Art Modell moved it to Baltimore. It’s technically a different franchise completely, but that’s fine.
Since I only have four spots to work with, I’d like to stick with the post-expansion rosters instead of automatically throwing in Graham or Brown. The following faces to be carved into this mountainside hail solely from the terrible era of Cleveland football, the current one from 1999-2013 following the expansion squad coming to town.
George Washington: Left tackle Joe Thomas is the only post-expansion Brown who can sensibly claim the throne of best at his respective position for a multi-year stretch.
Thomas Jefferson: Joe Haden established himself early in his career as arguably the best cornerback outside of Darrelle Revis. He possesses both the youth and the skills to do so in the near future.
Theodore Roosevelt: For the most concave sculpting of the monument, we’ll have Josh Cribbs — great but sort of hidden away on special teams. This makes more sense if you’re consulting a picture of Mt. Rushmore while reading this. If so, good on yah, reader.
Abraham Lincoln: We’ll give this one to Shaun Rogers for getting an All-Pro nod, and at one point during the mid-aughts he was considered an elite interior defensive lineman.