Ranking the greatest Detroit Lions of all time is no easy task to accomplish. From No. 1 all the way up to No. 99, I will attempt to rank the greatest Lions players for each jersey number. This list now continues with my selection for the best at No. 16.
A second-round pick by the Cleveland Browns and one of the successors to the great Otto Graham, Milt Plum led the Browns to winning records in each of his four seasons. During his Browns career, Plum shared the same backfield with legends like Jim Brown and Bobby Mitchell. Plum also made two Pro Bowls in 1960 and 1961.
However, Plum was traded to the Lions before the 1962 season. That season, Plum helped the Lions to an 11-3 record, including a trouncing of the previously undefeated Green Bay Packers on Thanksgiving. If not for the Packers dynasty and if the playoff rules of today would be instated in 1962, the Lions and Plum certainly would have made some noise.
In Plum’s six seasons with the Lions, the team went 23-24-4 and Plum threw for 8,536 yards with 55 touchdowns and 87 interceptions. Unfortunately for Plum and the Lions, they had the misfortune of playing in the same division as one of the greatest dynasties of all time in the 1960s Packers.
Without Plum, the 1960s Lions would have been nowhere near the contenders that they were during the decade. While the defense carried the team through most of the decade, Plum helped lead the Lions to success.
Other nominees: Titus Young (2011-12), Chuck Long (1986-89, 91, 94), Gary Danielson (1976-84)