The Top 10 Greatest NFL Kick Returners of All-Time - Fan Arch

The Top 10 Greatest NFL Kick Returners of All-Time

The Top 10 Greatest NFL Kick Returners of All-Time

The game of football is filled with electrifying moments, and one of the most exhilarating plays is the kick return. Throughout the history of the NFL, there have been exceptional players who have mastered the art of returning kicks, leaving fans in awe of their speed, agility, and ability to change the momentum of a game in an instant. In this article, we will take a look at the top 10 greatest kick returners of all time, whose contributions to the game will never be forgotten.

1. Devin Hester

Devin Hester is widely regarded as the greatest kick returner in NFL history. His ability to take a kick and turn it into a touchdown was unmatched. Hester holds the record for the most kick return touchdowns in NFL history with 19. Throughout his career, he played for the Chicago Bears, Atlanta Falcons, and Baltimore Ravens, and he was a threat to score every time he touched the ball.

2. Gale Sayers

Gale Sayers was not only one of the greatest running backs of all time, but he was also a dynamic kick returner. Known for his incredible speed and agility, Sayers returned six kickoffs for touchdowns in his career. His ability to make defenders miss and find open lanes made him a nightmare for opposing special teams units.

3. Josh Cribbs

Josh Cribbs was a human highlight reel during his time in the NFL. He holds the record for the most career kickoff return touchdowns tied with Leon Washington, both with eight. Cribbs played for the Cleveland Browns, New York Jets, and Indianapolis Colts, and his combination of speed, strength, and vision made him a dangerous weapon on special teams.

4. Dante Hall

Dante Hall, also known as "The Human Joystick," was a true game-changer. His ability to change directions on a dime and leave defenders grasping at air was a sight to behold. Hall returned six kickoffs and four punts for touchdowns in his career and was a key part of the Kansas City Chiefs' special teams success.

5. Desmond Howard

Desmond Howard is best known for his MVP performance in Super Bowl XXXI, where he returned a kickoff for a touchdown and helped lead the Green Bay Packers to victory. He was a versatile player who could contribute on offense and special teams, but it was his return skills that set him apart. Howard returned eight punts for touchdowns in his career.

6. Mel Gray

Mel Gray was a dynamic return specialist during his 12-year career in the NFL. He played for the New Orleans Saints, Detroit Lions, and Houston Oilers, and his ability to find open lanes and burst through them made him a constant threat on kick returns. Gray returned six kickoffs for touchdowns and was a four-time Pro Bowler.

7. Eric Metcalf

Eric Metcalf was a versatile player who excelled in multiple positions, including running back, wide receiver, and return specialist. He holds the record for the most career punt return touchdowns with 10. Metcalf played for several teams, including the Cleveland Browns, Atlanta Falcons, and San Diego Chargers, and his elusiveness and speed made him a dynamic threat on special teams.

8. Billy "White Shoes" Johnson

Billy "White Shoes" Johnson was a pioneer in the art of end zone celebrations, but he was also an exceptional kick returner. Johnson played for the Houston Oilers, Atlanta Falcons, and Washington Redskins, and he returned five punts and two kickoffs for touchdowns in his career. His flashy style and ability to make defenders miss made him a fan favorite.

9. Cordarrelle Patterson

Cordarrelle Patterson is one of the most explosive kick returners in recent memory. His combination of size, speed, and strength makes him a nightmare for opposing coverage units. Patterson has returned eight kickoffs for touchdowns in his career and has consistently been one of the top returners in the league.

10. Brian Mitchell

Brian Mitchell was a versatile player who contributed as a running back, wide receiver, and return specialist. He holds the record for the most all-purpose yards in NFL history, and his ability to make defenders miss in the open field was second to none. Mitchell returned nine punts and four kickoffs for touchdowns in his career.

The NFL has seen some incredible kick returners throughout its history. These players have left an indelible mark on the game with their speed, agility, and ability to change the momentum of a game in an instant. From Devin Hester's record-setting touchdown returns to Gale Sayers' electrifying runs, these players have provided fans with countless memorable moments. Whether it's a kickoff or a punt, these top 10 kick returners of all time have set the standard for excellence in the NFL.


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