Detroit Lions: 15 best first-round draft picks of all-time

Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions
Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

It’s pretty simple when you think about who the greatest wide receiver in Lions history is. For a while, it was Herman Moore, but the last decade gave NFL fans something called “Megatron” to sink their teeth into. Wide receiver Calvin Johnson was something else in his pro career with the Lions. Detroit made a fantastic choice in taking him No. 2 overall in the 2007 NFL Draft.

The first pick of that draft was former LSU quarterback JaMarcus Russell, who busted most catastrophically for the Oakland Raiders. The No. 3 overall pick in 2007 was left tackle Joe Thomas of the Cleveland Browns.

Like Johnson, Thomas recently retired and is certainly Canton bound. The same can be said for the player taken at No. 7 overall that year in former Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson.

In his nine years with the Lions, Johnson made six straight trips to the Pro Bowl and three straight All-Pro First Teams from 2011 to 2013. The former standout for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets set an NFL record for most receiving yards in a season with 1,946 in 2012. He led the NFL in receiving yards twice, receptions once and receiving touchdowns once.

Overall, Johnson retired after the 2015 NFL season with 731 receptions for 11,619 yards and 83 touchdowns. Johnson is a lock to earn Canton enshrinement, possibly on his first ballot in 2021.

Then again, there has historically been a logjam at wide receiver. Expect Johnson to join the College Football Hall of Fame as well as a transformative receiving talent for the Ramblin’ Wreck of Georgia Tech in the mid-2000s.