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. 27.
Before joining the Lions in 1997, safety Mark Carrier was the No. 6 overall pick in the 1990 NFL Draft for the division rival Chicago Bears. Carrier had a memorable start to his career by intercepting 10 passes his rookie season and earning the 1990 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award.
From USC, Carrier joined the Bears just as their days of dominance in the 1980’s ended. With players like Mike Singletary, Dan Hampton and Wilber Marshall starting to head out, or were already out the door, Carrier helped the Bears reach three postseason appearances in his first seven seasons. Carrier was also named to three Pro Bowls, all with the Bears.
For Detroit, Carrier joined a veteran team that constantly reached the postseason before him, but was never able to win a playoff game. Although he only played in Detroit for three seasons, Carrier helped the Lions to two postseason appearances, both losses in the NFC Wild Card game.
After spending one season with the Washington Redskins in 2000, Carrier retired from the NFL and went into coaching. In 2006, Carrier was hired by Brian Billick and the Baltimore Ravens to be their defensive backs coach, where he coached one of the greatest to ever play the position in Ed Reed.
In 2010, Carrier was then hired by former Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan and the New York Jets where Carrier became the defensive line coach. In 2012, Carrier was and still is the defensive backs coach for the Cincinnati Bengals where he learned under former defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer before Zimmer took a head coaching position with the Minnesota Vikings this past offseason.
As a Lion, Carrier recorded 11 interceptions and forced five fumbles. Carrier would start in both of Detroit’s playoff losses. Although he was known mostly for his days as a Chicago Bear, Carrier had what I thought was a successful but short tenure in Detroit.
Other nominees: Bobby Watkins (1982-88), Daniel Bullocks (2006-2010)
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