Detroit Lions: The Best 30 Draft Picks in Franchise History

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Oct 18, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions former running back Barry Sanders during Pro Football Hall of Fame ring ceremony at halftime of the NFL game against the Chicago Bears at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

#1. Barry Sanders

First round, No. 3 overall, 1989

He’s Barry Sanders. Do you really need more reason?

Okay, I’ll indulge.

Sanders retired as the NFL’s all-time leading rusher with over 15,000. He holds two of the top 10 individual rushing marks, the only player with two in the top 15.

10 Pro Bowls in his ten seasons. Six first-team All-Pro nods. Offensive Rookie of the Year. NFL MVP in 1997. First-team All-Decade. Second all-time in rushing yards per game. First-ballot Hall of Famer in 2004.

Next: Ranking the 5 best Lions draft classes of the past 30 years

Beyond the numbers and accolades, Barry Sanders was one of the most exciting players in NFL history. He made avoiding tackles performance art, the gold standard of agility and acceleration to this day.