Ranking the greatest Detroit Lions of all time is an easy task to accomplish. From Bobby Layne to Alex Karras and even Calvin Johnson, there are plenty of legends to have suited up in Detroit blue and silver. However, trying to rank the greatest Lions players by solely the numbers on their jerseys is an even more daunting task. From the No. 1 all the way up to No. 99, I will attempt to rank the greatest Lions players based on their jersey number. For the most part, these players are graded based on their careers as Lions rather than their overall body of work. This list now continues with my selection for the best at No. 2.
Originally a fourth-round draft pick by the Denver Broncos in 2001, punter Nick Harris had a solid yet unspectacular career in the Motor City. After being waived his rookie year by the Broncos and a stint with the Cincinnati Bengals, Harris spent a majority of his career with the Lions. Harris, like fellow special teams ace Jason Hanson, saw plenty of grim moments during the Matt Millen regime as the punter and was a part of the only 0-16 campaign in NFL history in 2008. During his nine-year career in Detroit, Harris recorded 694 punts with an average of 43 yards per punt.
After replacing the injured John Jett during the 2003 season, Harris held the punting duties for eight full seasons in Detroit. Unfortunately for Harris, he missed out on the Lions’ only postseason appearance in 2011 as he was released in favor of Ryan Donahue and instead signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Harris did return to Detroit the next year after Ben Graham was placed on injured reserve.
Harris was again released last season in favor of rookie Sam Martin. Considering the punting and kicking issues that Martin endured last year, Lions fans would sure like to see Harris back for at least one more season.
Other nominees: Frank Christensen (1934-37)
Previous Number: No.1