Detroit Lions: 15 greatest draft-day steals of all-time

Darius Slay, Detroit Lions. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Darius Slay, Detroit Lions. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /
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Darius Slay, Detroit Lions
Darius Slay, Detroit Lions. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /

For as long as they have been around, the Detroit Lions have been able to find some draft-day gems. Here are their 15 greatest draft-day steals of all-time.

The Detroit Lions have been around since 1930 when they were founded as the Portsmouth Spartans. With a franchise history going on 90 years, of course, the Lions have taken part in many NFL Drafts. In fact, they have participated in all of them.

That’s right the Lions, were one of nine teams to take part in the inaugural 1936 NFL Draft. With their first-ever pick, Detroit took Michigan State Spartans offensive lineman Sid Wagner No. 8 overall. Though an All-American at East Lansing, he would on play three seasons for the Lions, as he retired before the 1939 NFL season to pursue a career in engineering.

So that didn’t end up being a great pick of value for the Lions. Frankly, not every pick is going to pan out. That’s the beauty of the NFL Draft. Some picks end up being busts, while other end up being diamonds in the rough.

So what we’re going to do today is take a look back at the greatest value picks in Lions football history. Did the Lions mine a gem in the later rounds? Perhaps a division rival or a fellow NFC foe made a huge gaffe a few picks up above them in the draft order?

Either way, these 15 selections made by the Lions over the last 88 years are what we would consider draft-day steals. With many of these guys in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and all of them named to a few Pro Bowls, this all-time list is chock full of some of the greatest players ever to don the Honolulu blue and silver.

Honorable Mentions: Lomas Brown, Luther Elliss, Kevin Glover, Jason Hanson, Alex Karras, Robert Porcher, Shaun Rogers, Dick Stanfel, Ndamukong Suh, Alex Wojciechowicz