Have the Detroit Lions ever had the 29th overall pick in the draft before?

The Detroit Lions hope to make a habit of picking late in the first round, but have they ever had the No. 29 pick before?
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It's no secret the Detroit Lions are not used to picking late in the first round of the draft. Such is life with a franchise that hasn't won a championship since 1957, and just won its first playoff game in more than three decades last season. Sorry for the harsh dose of reality, but it is what it is.

But that run to the NFC Championship Game has yielded the Lions a first-round pick in the 20s overall (No. 29) since 2018 this year. When they had the Los Angeles Rams' 2022 first-round pick via the Matthew Stafford trade, No. 32 overall, they traded up to No. 12 to get Jameson Williams.

The Lions have the look of a sustainable contender, so picking late in the first round stands to become a regular thing for the foreseeable future. Even if some people think their championship window has already closed, making the playoffs every year has become the expectation.

The 2024 draft is of course in Detroit, so Lions' fans will be eagerly anticipating who the selection will be at No. 29.

But have the Lions ever had the 29th overall pick before?

Detroit Lions' history with the No. 29 overall pick

Through their history, the Lions have had the 29th overall pick twice. And both times were long enough ago, with fewer teams in the NFL, that the pick was a second-rounder.

In 1986, the Lions selected LSU running back Garry James No. 29 overall (those of us who are a certain age probably had his 1988 Topps football card). He played just three NFL seasons, all with the Lions, totaling 1,510 rushing yards, 89 receptions for 816 yards and 14 total touchdowns (12 rushing) over 40 games.

The result at pick No. 29 was way better for the Lions the second time around, in 1988.

Ohio State linebacker Chris Spielman was the pick. He spent eight of his 10 NFL seasons in Detroit, earning four Pro Bowl selections and one First Team All-Pro nod. He is the franchise's all-time leader in tackles, and he's now occupying an important role in the organization as a special assistant.

Will the Lions' next pick at No. 29 be more like James or Spielman? (Assuming they stay in that spot). Hopefully more like Spielman, but time will tell.

Next. Ranking the Detroit Lions' last 10 first-round picks. Ranking the Detroit Lions' last 10 first-round picks. dark