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Detroit Lions: The 8 Biggest Late Round Steals in Team History

Honestly, I wish there were more than eight.

But this is the Detroit Lions we’re talking about. It would be difficult to find eight first-round picks that worked out, much less late-round steals.

You’ll probably notice a couple of things about this list. The first is that there are no picks listed in the 1960s or 70s. That’s no mistake. While there were a handful of decent picks during those two decades, few of them ever made so much as a single Pro Bowl or All-Pro squad.

To use another metric, only four players drafted by the Detroit Lions in the last 50 years have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame: Fred Biletnikoff (1965), Lem Barney (1967), Charlie Sanders (1968), and Barry Sanders (1989).

Of course, Hall of Famers are a big deal, so to say that the Lions have “only” produced four is perhaps a bit crass. But hey, I’m talking about the last 50 years, and the Pittsburgh Steelers produced four Hall-bound players in 1974 alone, so I don’t feel like I’m raising the bar too high.

But enough about that. It’s time to feel good about the Lions’ drafting prowess, even if it is just in pulling long-term role players.

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