Despite never winning a Super Bowl, the Detroit Lions02 locker room has been home to several Hall of Famers.
The actual issue is that the Lions’ roster never included such a diverse group of talented players. With more than 80 years of history, the Lions team has accumulated a diverse group of players who have all contributed to the team’s success.
This explains why there are so many great players but so few great teams. In contrast, this isn’t about mourning the past, but rather enjoying some of the greatest athletes for that matter.
Here is a list of 5 of the Greatest All-Time Detroit Lions Rosters.
1. Barry Sanders
During his ten seasons in the NFL, Sanders amassed the most rushing titles of any back in league history. He was a member of the Pro Bowl in each of those seasons. From 1989 through 1998, Sanders was a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and a member of the Pro Bowl. After 14 straight 100-yard running games, Barry still maintains the NFL record.
2. Joe Schmidt
Joe Schmidt is the finest Lions defender in history. In his first season with Detroit, Schmidt started all 12 regular-season games and helped the club win the 1953 NFL Championship despite being drafted in the seventh round. Lions fans will always remember him as one of the hardest guys to ever play in an NFL game.
3. Bobby Layne
During the 1948 NFL Draft, the Chicago Bears picked Bobby Layne in the first round. In 1950, Layne joined the Detroit Lions and is widely regarded as the finest quarterback in the team’s history. The NFL passing game was horribly undeveloped during Layne’s tenure, yet he is still the Lions’ all-time leading passer (15,710) and the only Lions quarterback to be inducted into the Hall of Fame for his passing abilities.
4. Calvin Johnson
Fans of the NFL as a whole were devastated by Calvin Johnson’s early retirement in 2015 at the age of 30. It’s safe to say that Calvin Johnson, or “Megatron,” is one of the finest wide receivers in NFL history. When Johnson retired from football, he had 11,619 yards and 83 touchdown receptions to his name, both Lions records at the time. Johnson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility, despite a nine-year career that was entirely spent in Detroit.
5. Lem Barney
In the first warmup of the 1967 season, as a rookie, he made a pass deflection and an interception the first two times he was targeted by Gail Cogdill. The Detroit Lions’ finest defensive back, Lem Barney, is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Barney was also selected to the NFL’s All-Decade Team for the decade ending in 1960.