Sports

The Best Cleveland Browns Linebackers of All Time 

Ranker NFL
Updated March 13, 2019 1.9k votes 293 voters 6.1k views 67 items

Big fan of Cleveland football? Then check out this list of Cleveland Browns linebackers with photos and seasons as starters. It includes every starting linebacker from throughout Cleveland Browns history, including current linebackers and past ones. An important part of the Cleveland defense, the LB position includes middle or inside linebackers and outside (strong side or weakside) linebackers. Featuring some of the greatest NFL linebackers of all time, the best Browns LBs include D'Qwell Jackson, Dick Ambrose, Andra Davis, and Kamerion Wimbley. 

Who are the best linebackers in Cleveland Browns history? Here is every player who has ever held the position of Cleveland Browns starting linebacker.

list ordered by
1
Chip Banks is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Cleveland Browns Linebackers of All Time

Seasons: 1986, 1985, 1984, 1983, 1982

 

William "Chip" Banks (born September 18, 1959) is a former All-Pro professional American football linebacker.
2
Jim Houston is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Cleveland Browns Linebackers of All Time

Seasons: 1971, 1970, 1969, 1968, 1967, 1966, 1965, 1964, 1963, 1962, 1961

James Edward Houston (November 3, 1937 – September 11, 2018) was an American football linebacker who played 13 seasons in the National Football League with the Cleveland Browns. He was elected ...more
3
D'Qwell Jackson is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Cleveland Browns Linebackers of All Time
D'Qwell Jackson

Seasons:  2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006

4
Dick Ambrose is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Cleveland Browns Linebackers of All Time

Seasons: 1983, 1982, 1981, 1980, 1979, 1978, 1977, 1976, 1975

Richard John Ambrose (born January 17, 1953) is a former American football linebacker who played nine seasons in the National Football League (NFL) with the Cleveland Browns, from 1975 to 1983. ...more
5
Joe Schobert is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Cleveland Browns Linebackers of All Time
Joe Schobert

Seasons: 2018, 2017, 2016

6
Mike Johnson is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Cleveland Browns Linebackers of All Time

Seasons: 1993, 1992, 1991, 1990, 1989, 1988, 1987

Michael Connan Johnson (born November 26, 1962) is a former American football linebacker who played ten seasons in the National Football League, mainly with the Cleveland Browns. Previously, he ...more
7
Willie McGinest is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Cleveland Browns Linebackers of All Time
Willie McGinest

Seasons: 2008, 2007, 2006

William Lee McGinest, Jr. (born December 11, 1971) is a former American football linebacker who played fourteen seasons in the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the New England ...more

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#283 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #113 of 542 The Greatest Defenders in NFL History #25 of 155 The Greatest Linebackers of All Time

8
Eddie Johnson is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Cleveland Browns Linebackers of All Time

Seasons: 1988, 1987, 1986, 1985, 1984, 1983, 1982

Eddie J. Johnson (February 3, 1959 – January 21, 2003) was an American football linebacker who played ten seasons in the National Football League with the Cleveland Browns. He wore number 51 ...more
9
Vince Costello is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Cleveland Browns Linebackers of All Time

Seasons: 1966, 1965, 1964, 1963, 1962, 1961, 1960, 1959, 1958, 1957

Vincent Costello (April 8, 1932 – June 22, 2019) was an American football linebacker who played twelve seasons in the National Football League for the Cleveland Browns (1956–66) and New York ...more
10
Charlie Hall is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Cleveland Browns Linebackers of All Time
Charlie Hall

Seasons: 1980, 1979, 1978, 1977, 1976, 1975, 1974, 1973, 1972

Charles Leslie Hall is a former American football linebacker in the National Football League. He was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the third round of the 1971 NFL Draft. He played college ...more
11
Pepper Johnson is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Cleveland Browns Linebackers of All Time

Seasons: 1995, 1994, 1993

Thomas "Pepper" Johnson (born July 29, 1964) is a former American football linebacker and a former NFL coach. He is the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach for the Los Angeles ...more

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12
Galen Fiss is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Cleveland Browns Linebackers of All Time

Seasons: 1964, 1963, 1962, 1961, 1960, 1959, 1958, 1957, 1956

Galen Fiss (born July 30, 1931, in Johnson City, Kansas – died July 17, 2006, in Overland Park, Kansas) was a National Football League linebacker who played eleven seasons with the Cleveland ...more
13
Bob Babich is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Cleveland Browns Linebackers of All Time
Bob Babich

Seasons: 1976, 1975, 1974, 1973

Bob Babich (born February 20, 1961) is an American football coach and former player, who is currently the linebackers coach for the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League (NFL). Babich ...more
14
Andra Davis is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Cleveland Browns Linebackers of All Time

Seasons:  2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003

Andra Raynard Davis [pronounced André] (born December 23, 1978) is a former American football linebacker who played ten seasons in the National Football League (NFL). He played college ...more
15
Tom Cousineau is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Cleveland Browns Linebackers of All Time

Seasons: 1985, 1984, 1983, 1982

Thomas Michael Cousineau (born May 6, 1957) is an American former college and professional football player who was a linebacker in the Canadian Football League (CFL) and National Football League ...more

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16
Paul Kruger is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Cleveland Browns Linebackers of All Time

Seasons: 2015, 2014, 2013

Paul Christian Kruger Jr. (born February 15, 1986) is a former American football defensive end. He was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft. He played ...more
17
Jabaal Sheard is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Cleveland Browns Linebackers of All Time

Seasons: 2014, 2013

Jabaal Lamar Sheard (born May 10, 1989) is an American football defensive end for the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the University of ...more
18
Christian Kirksey is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Cleveland Browns Linebackers of All Time
Christian Kirksey is an American football linebacker for the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Browns in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He ...more
19
Jamie Collins is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Cleveland Browns Linebackers of All Time
Jamie Collins

Seasons: 2017, 2016

Jamie Collins is an American football linebacker for the New England Patriots of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Patriots in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He played ...more

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20
Demario Davis is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Cleveland Browns Linebackers of All Time
Demario Davis

Seasons: 2016

DeMario Davis is an American football linebacker for the New York Jets of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Jets in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft. He played college ...more

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21
Gerald Irons is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Cleveland Browns Linebackers of All Time
Gerald Irons

Seasons: 1978, 1977, 1976

Gerald Irons (born May 2, 1947 in Gary, Indiana) is a former American professional football player who played ten seasons in the National Football League. His youngest son Grant Irons played for ...more
22
Carl Banks is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Cleveland Browns Linebackers of All Time
Carl Banks

Seasons: 1995, 1994

Carl E. Banks (born August 29, 1962) is a former American football linebacker in the National Football League. He played from 1984 to 1995 for the New York Giants, the Washington Redskins and ...more
23
Kamerion Wimbley is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Cleveland Browns Linebackers of All Time

Seasons: 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006

Kamerion Wimbley ( kə-MEER-ee-ən; born October 13, 1983) is a former American football outside linebacker and defensive end in the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Cleveland ...more
24
Bob Matheson is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Cleveland Browns Linebackers of All Time

Seasons: 1968

Robert Matheson (November 25, 1944 – September 5, 1994) was a linebacker who played thirteen seasons in the National Football League. He played in three Super Bowls for the Miami Dolphins, ...more
25
Walt Michaels is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Cleveland Browns Linebackers of All Time

Seasons: 1961, 1960, 1959, 1958, 1957, 1956, 1955, 1954, 1953, 1952

Walter Edward Michaels (October 16, 1929 – July 10, 2019) was a professional American football player and coach who was best remembered for his six-year tenure as head coach of the NFL's New ...more