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NFL Detroit Lions

Greatest Detroit Lions By Number: No. 25

Detroit Lions No. 25

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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 continues with my selection for the best at No. 25.

The NFL Rookie of the Year in 1968, wide receiver Earl McCullouch, led the Detroit Lions in receiving twice during his six-year career and a postseason appearance in 1970. The former USC wide receiver was the 24th overall pick by the Lions and is the 27th leading receiver in Lions history.

McCullouch was not just an NFL receiver; he was also a star track athlete at USC. McCullouch won both the 110 meter hurdles and the 4×100 meter relays at the 1967 Pan American games. On the gridiron, McCullouch was part of the 1967 National Championship team that featured the likes of O.J. Simpson, who would win the Heisman Trophy in 1968 and would later become one of the best running backs of all time.

For the Lions, McCullouch had a great first season in Detroit, catching 40 passes for 680 yards and scoring five touchdowns. McCullouch’s production would not reach that level again as bad quarterback play led to his downfall in Detroit.

For only one season, McCullouch was a part of a winning team in Detroit. In 1970, the Lions and McCullouch, who recorded 15 receptions and four touchdowns that season, would play the eventual Super Bowl runner-up Dallas Cowboys in the playoffs. In a 5-0 loss which saw quarterback Greg Landry throw for a mere 48 yards, McCullouch had one reception for 39 yards. McCullouch would join the New Orleans Saints in 1974 before ultimately retiring from the NFL.

For McCullouch, his career may have turned out differently with a traditional drop-back quarterback rather than Landry, who despite being a great running quarterback, was a below average passer at best.

Other nominees: Corey Harris (2002-03), Fernando Bryant (2004-07)

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Brian Kalchik is a Detroit Lions writer for rantsports.com. Follow him on Twitter, like him on Facebook and connect with him on Google.