Join us each day as we count down towards the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft. The countdown runs from 50 to zero and the number of days remaining will inspire the post for that day. Think of this as your NFL draft paper chain that loses one link each day!
The countdown begins with a look at the players the Lions have drafted when holding the 50th overall selection in the NFL Draft.
The 50th overall pick was a fifth round selection in 1956 when the Lions selected Tom Tracy, a running back out of the University of Tennessee. Tracy only played his first two years with the Lions before moving on to Pittsburgh and then finishing his career with the Washington Redskins. He was a two time Pro Bowl selection as a member of the Steelers. An interesting fact about Tracy is that no other non-quarterback in NFL history has thrown for more than his 854 career passing yards.
Germane Crowell looked like a second round steal after his second NFL season when he lead the Lions in receptions, receiving yards and touchdown catches in 1999. Only five wide receivers had more yards than Crowell. Injuries derailed what could have been a productive NFL career and Crowell was done after the 2002 season. He played in just 9, 5 and 10 games in the three seasons that followed his spectacular second year. Germane’s younger brother Angelo is an NFL linebacker, most notably during his time with the Buffalo Bills.
A safety that grew into a linebacker’s body, Barrett Green came to the Lions following a successful career at West Virginia in which he was a two time first team performer in the Big East. Green started 40 games for the Lions from 2000 to 2003 but never produced at a level that justified the second round selection. His career ended after playing two seasons with the New York Giants.
Is there a more polarizing figure in Detroit Lions history than Dominic Raiola? Perhaps not. He joined the organization as the number 50 overall pick in the 2001 draft. He has his share of critics for his displays on and off the field but he has been reliable constant in the middle of the Lions offensive line for a number of years. He grabbed the starting job in his second season and has made every start since then except for four games during the 2008 season.