Greatest NFL Kick / Punt Returners

walter34

The Top Ten

1 Devin Hester

I started watching the bears the year he got drafted. every time he received a kick or punt return, anything could have happened. Hester has had so many extra return touchdowns that were called back that should have easily counted in the record books. In addition, he’s had at least 30 almost return touchdowns where he went for 40-80 yards and cane just shy of the end zone

Flashy player who always had the chance to get the ball, runaway from defenders and score a TD

Best return specialist to ever play don't @ me

For anyone to sit there and second guess who's number #1 knows nothing about football. Devin "THE WINDY CITY FLYER" Hester broke records in his first 4 years in the nfl. Compared to guys like Hall & Sanders who took 10 years to get where they were. Well Voters Devin did this in half the time they did! SO YES DEVIN HESTER IS #1

43 Comments
2 Deion Sanders Deion Sanders Deion Luywnn Sanders, Sr. is a former American football and former American baseball player, who works as an analyst for CBS Sports and the NFL Network.

Number one and wres branding cooks

I've got two words for you. The best! He was the first to bring true exitement to return game. The art of return was his specialty. The problem is he doesn't get enough credit because was so good at so many other positions.

Prime Time is the best returner of all time! He can return interceptions, punts, kicks anything you can think of he can return.

He's just the best

3 Comments
3 Joshua Cribbs

All-time kick returner for touchdown leader. He is way better than 5th!

Kick offs are more difficult to return than punts. The opponent has a running start at you, and more than likely, you are coming out of your own endzone, that's why I believe Cribbs is the best. Hester is amazing, but I would take Joshua's kick return ability first. - FONZIEjacket61

Remember a little thing called the immaculate deception? Come on people!

So on punt returns they don't have a running start on you? Hmm we watching the same sport

3 Comments
4 DeSean Jackson DeSean Jackson DeSean William Jackson, nicknamed "D-Jax", is an American football wide receiver and return specialist for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League. ...read more.

He is the best player ever I think. And that one punt return with the Giants was epic

I know right! No one expected that to happen and you will have haters dislike your good comment too - Sabbath

When he jukes one guy he's gone

Miracle in the medalands

Edelman is better

5 Billy White Shoes Johnson

Besides Hester of course, the GOAT

I went to collage with him saw him there and the NFL he was the BEST ever Collage and Pros

He was the best and the most entertaining. Loved watching him return!

The BEST of all time, especially considering his height!

2 Comments
6 Leon Washington

Nice he plays for seahawks AWESOME

Should be Top 10, he and Hester are tied for most kick/punt return TDs in NFL History.

He is the second best returner, just behind Hester. And Washington is now with the Tennessee Titans. The best team in NFL

7 Dante Hall

Dante was a clutch player, who delivered when the team needed him most, beyond that his sheer talent was undeniable. His ability to evade tackles, and juke ENTIRE TEAMS of defenders, was astounding, something few others could even dream of competing with.

I have to agree with the posts here... In particular, Hall always came through when his team needed him the most. Game changer. Don't kick the Ball to Dante Hall! He would've broken more records had teams actually done that. Hats off to the human joystick!

He got kicked to less and he did it with very little special teams help.. His returns weren't one cut and up the field returns, his returns where he should of been tackled 10 times but he juked the whole team returns.. He should be #1 hands down...

The most Explosive, elusive, and exciting kick returner since Sayers and "white shoes" Johnson

7 Comments
8 Patrick Peterson Patrick Peterson Patrick Peterson is an American football cornerback and return specialist for the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League.

Little known, but on his first year (2011-2012) he tied a record for most punt returns for touchdowns. He was also the only rookie in the 2012 pro bowl. This guy is going to be amazing next season.

9 Darren Sproles Darren Sproles Darren Lee Sproles is an American football running back for the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League.

Small but explosive, that guy got some serious speed and some nasty ankle breakers

He's on the Eagles 3 most punt returns ever what do you say about that

Every year we see this guy with incredible returns

Fastest guy on the field easy

2 Comments
10 Desmond Howard Desmond Howard Desmond Kevin Howard is a former National Football League player. Howard was known mostly as a return specialist but also played wide receiver.

I know he's not better than Hester or Sayers, but he's got a Super Bowl Ring and Super Bowl MVP and neither of those two can say that.

Heisman Trophy and Super Bowl MVP as a kick/punt returner

Smallest packer biggest hero

The Contenders

11 Reggie Bush Reggie Bush Reginald Alfred "Reggie" Bush Jr. is an American football running back who is currently on the Buffalo Bills roster.
12 Brian Mitchell

He should be in the Hall of Fame. Only Jerry Rice has more All-Purpose Yards than Mitchell's 22,000. 19,000 of those yards are in the return game, where he also had 13 TDs. Only one other person has 15,000 return yards. Brian Mitchell is miles (literally) ahead of anyone in return yardage in the history of the NFL. Greatest returner ever. All-Time leader in punt and kick yards.

All around player. Special teams get ignored in Hall of Fame ballots most of the time. Brian Mitchell should be in the Hall of Fame eventually because of his versatility,character and overall stats.

All-time in kick return and punt return yards. Can't argue with that.

Stats don't lie.

2 Comments
13 Roscoe Parrish

Are you kidding me?!? How is Roscoe not on this list right below Devin Hester?

14 West Welker

WES Welker

Go Broncos

15 Mel Gray

Wow as fast as Barry with Barry like moves made that team a legit threat

Mel Gray of the Detroit Lions should be #1

16 Michael Lewis

The guy never played in college and didn't catch punts until he got to the nfl

The beer man!

17 Gayle Sayers

I saw Gayle Sayers play on TV when I was A kid. He was as a man against boys. In the rain and mud he was sensational. The guy didn't walk on water but he could sure run on mud.

Gale Sayers only played for about six seasons, but he was one heck of a return man.

Two Chicago players are top tens man whats up New York Chicagos coming back

18 Vai Sikahema

Pro bowler twice, goalpost punching champ.

Vai is a bad man.. Nasty punt returner...Punch that goal post Vai he was the pioneer of the goal post punching bag celebration and he had a lot of chances to do it cause he was electric

19 Jack Christiansen

Holds the record for most punt returner for a rookie and made it to the hall of fame in 1970.

It took 54 years just to get his record tied.

He is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

20 Andre Davis

He may not be hester but considering the blocks he gets and what he does with them you gotta give him credit

21 Eric Metcalf

P 10, considering he split time as a 3rd down back, best 633 yds and 1 x 1000K receiving seasons. He literally best teams himself. Ask Pittsburg. Better than Desmond Howard, who's a bit over-rated in my opinion. Metcalf belongs in the bottom half of the #10 list, worse case. 3 time pro-bowler, 2 x All-Pro makes my case.

Eric is my #1

22 Julian Edelman Julian Edelman Julian Francis Edelman is an American football wide receiver for the New England Patriots of the National Football League. ...read more.

Julian Edelman never quits he is a tuff dude and he is small and fast and good at catching

Too good for everyone

He is a tough little bastard that never quits he is a remarkable player who before his unfortunate injury he was leading in touchdowns by wideout recivers

Julian Edelman is such a solid reciever and he's highly underrated + he is a quick, and dangerous returner when it comes to punts

1 Comment
23 Teddy Ginn

He's the best

24 Jacoby Jones

Fantastic 2013 season

Look what he did dis season and last did you see what he did

Why is he not on this list at #2!

25 Tyler Lockett

Tyler lockett should be on top you fools.

Week 17 2015. enough said

26 Cordarrelle Patterson

He's big and powerful but not only that he is fast and strong

Yeah he's a one season wonder, or it's just a sophomore slump. You can't deny his 109-Yd Kick-Off TD against Green Bay. He probably only has one good play this season, his run against a the Rams in week 1, but that's about it. His rookie season should be at least 5th to 15th

You put Patterson at 21 are you kidding me put him at #2 he had a really good returns last year and his season was awesome he might have been better then Devin Hester

Just the way he can dodge tackles and the way he runs

Put him and Gale sayers up in the top 2

27 Rick Upchurch

He was an awesome returnman! Lead league 3 time (a record) punt returns, all time punt return yards, all time punt returns for touchdowns, 1of 5 punt returners with a 12 yards per return.

Amazing view of the field. A threat every time he touched the ball.

On two all-decade teams. 'enough said.

28 Percy Harvin
29 Antonio Brown Antonio Brown Antonio Brown is an American football wide receiver and punt returner for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League. He is often regarded as one of the best Wide Receivers in today's game in the NFL. Brown was selected 195th overall to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the sixth round. ...read more.

If you can't get by the punter, then kick him.

30 Ollie Matson
31 Trindon Holliday

He played for Denver

How he not on here

32 Marcus Sherels

Simply just overpowered

33 Tim Brown Tim Brown
34 Chris Carr
35 B.J. Sams
36 Eddie Royal
37 Jermaine Lewis
38 Keenan Allen Keenan Allen Keenan Alexander Allen is an American football wide receiver for the San Diego Chargers of the National Football League.
39 Dave Meggett

Second most punt return yards all time.

40 Dexter McCluster

He's one of the best kick/punt returnes right now in NFL

41 Tavon Austin Tavon Austin Tavon Wesley Austin is an American football wide receiver and return specialist for the Los Angeles Rams of the National Football League.

Speed and juke

One word, AWESOME🤘🏽

42 Brandon Banks

"In madden 25 he is a 99 Ovr in Kick and Punt Returning"

43 Danny Amendola
44 Al Carmichael

Right up there with Ollie Matson and Jack Christianson as the best kick returners of the 1950's.

45 Tyreek Hill
46 Abe Woodson
47 Brent Grimes Brent Grimes Brent Omar Grimes is an American football cornerback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League.
BAdd New Item

Related Lists

Survivor Players Who Did Bad Their First Time, but Did Better as a Returner Best Free Kick Takers in Football (Soccer) Top 10 Corner Kick Takers In the World Animals That Could Kick Your Ass Best Songs On Kate Bush's The Kick Inside

List Stats

1,000 votes
47 listings
11 years, 314 days old

Top Remixes

1. Deion Sanders
2. Joshua Cribbs
3. Devin Hester
FartFace28763
1. Devin Hester
2. Deion Sanders
3. DeSean Jackson
YoungRocket15
1. Devin Hester
2. Deion Sanders
3. Joshua Cribbs
htoutlaws2012

WRemix

Error Reporting

See a factual error in these listings? Report it here.