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

Mandatory Credit: Tom Pidgeon/Allsport
Mandatory Credit: Tom Pidgeon/Allsport /
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Mandatory Credit: Rick Stewart /Allsport
Mandatory Credit: Rick Stewart /Allsport /

4. 1988 NFL Draft

Round Selections: (Overall Pick)

1st. Bennie Blades: DB (3)

2nd. Chris Spielman: LB (29)

2nd. Pat Carter: TE (32)

3rd. Ray Roundtree: WR (58)

4th. William White: DB (85)

5th. Eric Andolsek: G (111)

6th. Carl Painter: RB (142)

7th. Jeff James: WR (169)

8th. Gary Hadd: DT (196)

9th. Kip Corrington: DB (223)

9th. Todd Irvin: T (234)

In 1988, Detroit hit on talented defensive back, Bennie Blades, with the third overall pick. The more memorable pick, though, is Chris Spielman, the four-time Pro-Bowl linebacker. Blades and Spielman were good core additions to what was a pretty decent Lions defensive unit during the 1990s.

Outside of those two, Detroit was quietly effective. Pat Carter turned out well enough for a second-round tight end in a then run-heavy NFL (107 catches, 1,117 yards, 9 touchdowns). The best value in 1988 was fourth-round defensive back, William White, totaling 20 interceptions during his career, after coming out of Ohio State.

Eric Andolsek was a decent pick, starting three seasons at guard. Outside of that, the Lions acquired some depth with Carl Painter, Gary Hadd and Kip Corrington. Blades and Spielman combined for five Pro-Bowls, but not much stands out other than that. White probably doesn’t get the credit he deserves for being a very good player.