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. 28.
A third-round pick by the Lions in the 1952 NFL Draft, defensive back and punter Yale Lary went on to become one of Detroit’s greatest players and was a part of all three World Championship teams in the 1950s.
From Texas A&M, Lary’s debut season was a memorable one as he and the Lions won the 1952 NFL Championship against Paul Brown, Otto Graham and the Cleveland Browns. The next year, Lary would again become a world champion as the Lions once again defeated Cleveland for the title.
During his time in Detroit, Lary played alongside great defensive backs like Jack Christiansen, Jim David, Don Doll, Dick LeBeau and Night Train Lane, who would each earn multiple Pro Bowl berths and Christiansen, LeBeau and Lane would also be inducted in Pro Football Hall of Fame alongside Lary. But Lary was at his best when he teamed with Christiansen and David to form what was known as “Chris’ Crew”.
Lary would again help the Lions win another championship in 1957 by once again defeating Cleveland, this time with Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown.
Lary would go on to record 50 interceptions, which ranks 35th all-time. Lary also recorded 13 fumble recoveries and made the Pro Bowl in nine of his 11 NFL seasons, all with the Lions. Lary was named to the NFL 1950s All-Decade Team and was inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1979.
Other nominees: Ron Rice (1995-2001), Bracy Walker (2002-05)
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