The Detroit team over the last decade has been dominated by these exceptional talents whose names and legacies have been engraved in the hall of fame. There is no doubt there were other players who were equally as good as them but the kind of unbeaten records these guys have set can’t be looked at. Though they couldn’t cement their legacies by winning a super bowl, Detroit still holds them in high esteem. Today we take you through the list of the five greatest of all-time players.

Who are the best Detroit players of all time?

1. Bobby Layne

Position: Quarterback
Years active:1948-1962
Titles and accolades: Hall of fame,6x pro bowl,2x all-pro, NFL champion

Having started his career at the University of Texas before heading to Chicago bears, new York bulldog, Detroit Lions, and Pittsburgh Steelers where he finally retired. His famous number 22 jersey was retired in Detroit when he announced his retirement from the game. He was nicknamed the blonde bomber and was very influential in the Lions winning team between the years 1952,1953 and 1957.

2. Dick lane

Position: Cornerstone
Years active:1952-1965
Accolades: Hall of fame,7x pro bowl,3x all pro

Nicknamed the night train due to the scary look, he made a great impact in the Detroit team despite spending only 6 seasons with them. He was a defensive back for Detroit and was well known for tackling his opponents by the head and neck. He won the best defender and had his name inducted in the hall of fame.

3. Joe Schmidt


Position: Linebacker
Years active:1953-1965
Accolades: Hall of fame,10x pro bowl,8x all-pro,2x NFL Champion

Despite being an injury prune in his early days, so, therefore, delaying his selection into the team, he rose above that to become a defensive team captain and was one of the most valuable players on four conservative times. He was able to influence his teammates by changing the defensive tactics in the field. He later retired as a coach and had his name on the hall of fame list.

4. Calvin Johnson

Position: Wide receiver
Years active:2007-2015
Accolades: Hall of fame,6x pro bowl,3x all pro
Nicknamed the Mega-tron, he began his career at Georgia Tech and was later drafted to Detroit playing nine seasons for them before announcing his retirement in 2015. His early retirement really unsettled his fans a bit, but he later disclosed it was due to his lost passion for the game and health issues. His name was later inducted into the hall of fame list.

5. Barry sanders

Position: Running back
Years active:1089-1998
Accolades: Hall of fame,10x pro bowl,6x all-pro,1x offensive rookie of the year,2x offensive player of the year

He is still regarded as one of the greatest players of all time due to his breaking 34 records in 3 years with cowboys. Having started his active career in Oklahoma state cowboys before heading to Detroit where he rushed for more than 1,000 yards in each of his 10 seasons with them. Although his career was short-lived, his jersey was retired when he retired from the game and had his name inducted into the hall of fame list


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