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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Detroit Lions
Detroit Lions. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

With the Lions’ ability to run the football well in the 1950s, you better believe that they had a handful of talented offensive lineman. The standout for them during that era was pulling guard Harley Sewell. He proved to be well worth the No. 13 overall selection when the Lions drafted him in 1953.

In college, Sewell was a dominant linebacker. However in the pros, Sewell would best make a name for himself on the offensive line and in special teams. The guy played all out, all the time and that translated marvelously in his 10-year NFL career with the Lions. Sewell would make four trips to the Pro Bowl and helped Detroit win its last two NFL championships in 1953 and 1957.

He was an adept interior lineman, thriving as the lead blocker on sweeps, as well as in pass protection. Though tackles weren’t an official stat during his playing days, Sewell was often the unofficial team leader in that department while starring on special teams.

While he would play the 1963 NFL season with the Los Angeles Rams, Sewell is best known for his time as a Texas linebacker and an offensive guard for the Lions. He is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame while with the Longhorns, but Canton enshrinement has evaded him to this day. If he ever reaches the Pro Football Hall of Fame, it will be posthumously.