NFL The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time  

Ranker NFL
1.5k votes 492 voters 16.7k views 28 items

Big fan of Detroit football? Then check out this list of Detroit Lions running backs with photos and seasons as starters. It includes every starting running back from throughout Detroit Lions history, including current running backs and past ones. Featuring 2018-2019 Detroit Lions and some of the greatest NFL running backs of all time, the best Lions RBs include Barry Sanders, Billy Sims, Kevin Jones, and James Stewart. 

Who are the best running backs in Detroit Lions history? Here is every player who has ever held the position of Detroit Lions starting running back.

list ordered by

1
283 30
Barry Sanders is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time

Seasons: 1998, 1997, 1996, 1995, 1994, 1993, 1992, 1991, 1990, 1989

2
134 30
Billy Sims is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time

Seasons: 1984, 1983, 1982, 1981, 1980

3
65 29
Mel Farr is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time

Seasons: 1973, 1972, 1971, 1970, 1969, 1968, 1967

4
82 52
Reggie Bush is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time

Seasons: 2014, 2013

5
41 19
Dexter Bussey is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time

Seasons: 1984, 1983, 1982, 1981, 1980, 1979, 1978, 1976, 1975, 1974

6
43 25
James Stewart is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time

Seasons:  2003, 2002, 2001, 2000

7
65 51
Theo Riddick is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time

Seasons: 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013

8
36 23
Kevin Jones is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time
Kevin Jones

Seasons: 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004

9
26 19
Steve Owens is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time

Seasons: 1974, 1973, 1972, 1971, 1970

10
19 13
Altie Taylor is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time

Seasons: 1975, 1974, 1973, 1972, 1971, 1970, 1969

11
35 32
Jahvid Best is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time

Seasons: 2012, 2011, 2010

12
28 25
Kevin Smith is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time

Seasons: 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008

13
14 11
Rick Kane is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time

Seasons: 1983, 1982, 1981, 1980, 1979, 1978, 1977

14
3 1
John Henry Johnson is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time
jhsmith added

15
3 1
Doak Walker is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time
jhsmith added

16
16 17
Garry James is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time
Garry James

Seasons: 1988, 1987, 1986

17
1 1
James Jones is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time
jhsmith added

18
0 0
Ernie Caddel is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time
jhsmith added Ernie Caddel

19
0 0
Bob Hoernschmeyer is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time
jhsmith added Bob Hoernschmeyer

20
0 0
Horace King is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time
jhsmith added Horace King

1975-1983 3660 total yards 14 touchdowns

21
1 2
Nick Pietrosante is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time
jhsmith added Nick Pietrosante

22
37 49
Ranker Video

Seasons: 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015

23
0 1
Danny Lewis is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time
jhsmith added Danny Lewis

24
0 1
Ace Gutowsky is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time
jhsmith added Ace Gutowsky

25
14 20
Shawn Bryson is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time
Shawn Bryson

Seasons: 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003

26
21 32
Mikel Leshoure is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time

Seasons: 2013, 2012, 2011

27
8 18
Wilbert Montgomery is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time

Seasons: 1985

28
7 18
Greg Hill is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time

Seasons: 1999