Biggest draft steals in Detroit Lions history

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
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2. LB Chris Spielman: Second Round (Pick No. 29), 1988

Spielman was drafted so long ago that the 29th overall pick was a second-rounder. He was also the sixth linebacker taken in the 1998 draft, despite an excellent career at Ohio State. But plenty of teams quickly regretted passing on him when he was runner-up for Defensive Rookie of the Year, then he earned three straight Pro Bowl selections.

Spielman is the Lions’ all-time leader in tackles (1,138). In 1994, he led the league with 195 total tackles and 124 solo tackles. Over eight seasons in Detroit, he earned four Pro Bowl selections along with one First Team All-Pro nod. He finally earned induction into the franchise's Ring of Honor in 2021.

Spielman has an argument as the best defensive player in Lions' history, and he currently has a key role in the organization as a special assistant. In terms of draft steals in franchise history, only one man usurps him.

1. WR Amon-Ra St. Brown: Fourth Round (Pick No. 112), 2021

There was a path to St. Brown being a draft steal for whoever took him if you chose to see it, and the Lions made him the 17th wide receiver taken in the 2021 draft (as we know, he can name the 16 taken before him). He has improved his numbers each year of his career, and if you take out the early part of his rookie season his numbers are in even more elite company over that span.

St. Brown is an obvious core player for the Lions, matching his talent with a work ethic that is an example for his teammates. He will soon be one of the highest-paid wide receivers in the NFL, and it's of course well-deserved. With what he's already done and is a virtual lock to keep doing until further notice, "The Sun God" gets the nod as the Lions' biggest draft steal.

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