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60 voters

The Best Detroit Lions First-Round Picks In The NFL Draft

Updated July 26, 2019 1.0k votes 60 voters55 items

List RulesBased only on career success with Detroit Lions. Only picks made during Super Bowl era (since 1967).

Many of the Detroit Lions' first-round draft picks have failed to leave a mark on the NFL. In fact, players like Aaron Gibson and Joey Harrington are often sited among the biggest draft busts in NFL history. However, fans can also count among Lions draft picks Barry Sanders, one of the greatest football players of all time, so it hasn't been all bad. 

But who has been the top first-round pick in the history of the Lions? The stats below reflect only players’ time spent with Detroit, and that’s what you should consider when voting. How much did these players help the team that drafted them?

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  • 26

    Overall selection: 5 (1997)

    Stats
    64 games, 223 tackles, 12 interceptions

  • 27

    Overall selection: 23 (1996)

    Stats
    72 games, 4 fumble recoveries

  • 28

    Overall selection: 11 (1978)

    Stats
    56 games, 9 interceptions, 2 fumble recoveries

  • 29

    Overall selection: 15 (1982)

    Stats
    107 games, 11 interceptions, 11 fumble recoveries

  • 30

    Overall selection: 21 (1972)

    Stats
    41 games, 4 fumble recoveries

  • 31

    Overall selection: 17 (1996)

    Stats
    26 games, 2.5 sacks, 2 interceptions

  • 32
    0
    10

    Mark Nichols

    Overall selection: 16 (1981)

    Stats
    76 games, 2,235 receiving yards (9 touchdowns)

  • 33

    Overall selection: 9 (1999)

    Stats
    63 games, 389 tackles, 10.5 sacks

  • 34
    5
    5

    James Jones

    Overall selection: 13 (1983)

    Stats
    85 games, 3,452 rushing yards (23 touchdowns), 2,318 (10 touchdowns)

  • 35

    Overall selection: 23 (2012)

    Stats
    105 games, 2 fumble recoveries

  • 36

    Overall selection: 17 (1973)

    Stats
    65 games, 6 fumble recoveries

  • 37

    Overall selection: 19 (1970)

    Stats
    53 games, 2,451 rushing yards (20 touchdowns), 861 (2 touchdowns)

    Achievements
    Pro Bowl (1971)
    All-Pro (1971)

  • 38
    0
    10

    Lawrence Gaines

    Overall selection: 16 (1976)

    Stats
    43 games, 892 rushing yards (5 touchdowns), 146 receiving yards (1 touchdowns)

  • 39
    6
    8

    Terry Fair

    Overall selection: 20 (1998)

    Stats
    52 games, 209 tackles, 7 interceptions

  • 40

    Overall selection: 12 (1986)

    Stats
    23 games, 3,743 passing yards (19 touchdowns), 88 rushing yards (0 touchdowns)

  • 41

    Overall selection: 16 (2016)

    Stats
    40 games

  • 42
    5
    8

    David Lewis

    Overall selection: 20 (1984)

    Stats
    42 games, 678 receiving yards (7 touchdowns)

  • 43

    Overall selection: 7 (1990)

    Stats
    14 games, 1,112 passing yards (5 touchdowns)

  • 44

    Overall selection: 17 (2008)

    Stats
    75 games, 2 fumble recoveries

  • 45

    Overall selection: 16 (1972)

    Stats
    72 games, 3 fumble recoveries

  • 46

    Overall selection: 20 (2000)

    Stats
    61 games, 1 fumble recovery

  • 47

    Overall selection: 7 (1987)

    Stats
    11 games, 1 sack

  • 48
    5
    13

    Eric Ebron

    Overall selection: 10 (2014)

    Stats
    56 games, 2,070 receiving yards (11 touchdowns)

  • 49

    Overall selection: 30 (2010)

    Stats
    22 games, 945 rushing yards (6 touchdowns), 774 receiving yards (3 touchdowns)

  • 50

    Overall selection: 27 (1999)

    Stats
    16 games