1. Matthew Stafford
Of course, the best quarterback this franchise has ever seen would get traded and ultimately go on to win a Super Bowl immediately after the deal. But, there was no more beloved quarterback in Detroit's rich history than former no. 1 overall pick, Matthew Stafford. The Georgia Bulldog became the face of the franchise in a hurry, and would end up holding the title of one of the league's toughest players.
Nobody was beat up more than Stafford, especially early on in his career. Yet, the guy would get up after taking hit after hit. He'd play through injury. He'd do everything he could to stay out on that field, even despite losing far more often than not. He embodied what it was to be a true professional, and Lions fans will always love him for that.
Stafford ended his Lions career with 45,109 passing yards 282 touchdowns and 144 interceptions.
At one point, Stafford would pass for over 4,000 yards in seven straight seasons with the Lions, including one year where he went for 5,038 yards back in 2011. That was, by far, his best season as a pro, when he also threw 41 touchdowns to just 16 interceptions. Funny enough, he would go on to tie that career-best in touchdown passes with the Rams during their Super Bowl season.
As good as Stafford was, it was almost as if he was punished for playing in Detroit. He only earned one career Pro Bowl nod, but one could argue that he deserved a few more.