NFL The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time  

Ranker NFL
1.6k votes 530 voters 18.2k 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
309 35
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
144 32
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
69 32
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
91 56
Reggie Bush is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time

Seasons: 2014, 2013

5
44 22
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
45 28
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
70 52
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
38 26
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
29 21
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
38 34
Jahvid Best is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time

Seasons: 2012, 2011, 2010

11
30 26
Kevin Smith is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time

Seasons: 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008

12
20 15
Altie Taylor is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time

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

13
5 1
John Henry Johnson is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time
jhsmith added

14
15 13
Rick Kane is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time

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

15
4 2
Doak Walker is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time
jhsmith added

16
17 18
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
41 51
Ranker Video

Seasons: 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015

18
2 3
James Jones is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time
jhsmith added

19
1 2
Danny Lewis is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time
jhsmith added Danny Lewis

20
1 2
Ace Gutowsky is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time
jhsmith added Ace Gutowsky

21
0 1
Ernie Caddel is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time
jhsmith added Ernie Caddel

22
0 1
Bob Hoernschmeyer is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time
jhsmith added Bob Hoernschmeyer

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

1975-1983 3660 total yards 14 touchdowns

24
15 21
Shawn Bryson is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time
Shawn Bryson

Seasons: 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003

25
24 33
Mikel Leshoure is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time

Seasons: 2013, 2012, 2011