3. Willie Green– Wide Receiver (1991-93)
As a Lion: Willie Green had a memorable rookie season, with 592 receiving yards and seven touchdowns during the regular season of the Lions’ 12-4 division champion campaign. He was the team’s third leading receiver and finished second in touchdowns, behind only Barry Sanders.
In his first playoff game, Green had a career day catching two more touchdown passes from Erik Kramer, helping the Lions to their 38-6 win over Dallas in the Silverdome.
I was a little young to know much about what was going on at the time, but I imagine his rookie year would’ve had many people expecting the type of ascension from Green as we’ve seen from Kenny Golladay in recent years. Instead, Green’s rookie year ended up being his best in Detroit, and after only three seasons (with declining production in each) he moved on to Tampa Bay after the 1993 season.
Super Bowl moment: The final stop of Green’s eight year NFL career was in Denver, right as John Elway finally broke through and won back-to-back Super Bowls in 1998 and 1999. With guys like Rod Smith, Shannon Sharpe, and Ed McCaffrey holding down the pass catching duties, Green was used mostly as a backup in Denver.
Green got on the field for a few plays here and their in both championship games, but wasn’t much of an offensive factor at this point. He didn’t record a catch in either of his Super Bowl appearances, but capped off his career with two rings.