By Brian Kalchik @RantsportsBrian on May 23, 2014
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 Nos. 40-49.
For numbers 30-39, visit http://www.rantsports.com/nfl/2014/05/23/greatest-detroit-lions-by-number-nos-30-39/
Former Lions RB-WR Howard Cassady was yet another Heisman Trophy winner to play for Detroit. Cassady would win the 1955 Heisman Trophy as a member of the Ohio State Buckeyes before joining the Lions.
Drafted No. 3 overall in 1956, Cassady was an all-purpose back in Detroit where he rushed and received for more than 1,000 yards in his seven seasons with the team.
Former Lions HB-WR Terry Barr spent all nine of his NFL seasons in Detroit and helped the Lions win the 1957 NFL Championship as a rookie.
In the title game against Cleveland, Barr had a 19-yard interception return for a touchdown in Detroit's 59-14 rout. Barr would be one of the first Lions receivers to record a 1,000-yard season, which he did in both 1963 and 1964. He would named to the Pro Bowl in both seasons.
Former Lions RB Altie Taylor spent his first seven NFL seasons in Detroit and became one of the team's leading rushers in franchise history.
Taylor led the Lions in rushing from 1972-74 and is currently Detroit's fourth leading rusher in team history with 4,297 yards. He ended his Lions career as the Lions' all-time leading rusher, surpassing Nick Pietrosante.
Former Lions safety Gary Lowe started his Detroit career in 1957 after spending a year and a half with the Washington Redskins.
Lowe would be a backup during Detroit's title run in 1957, but in 1959, Lowe would replace Hall of Fame defensive back Jack Christiansen in the starting lineup. Lowe would finish his Lions career with 19 interceptions and 11 fumble recoveries.
Former Lions DB Don Doll joined the team in 1949 and was an instant contributor for an already talented Detroit secondary.
Doll's first two seasons in Detroit featured a then-record 11 interceptions in 1949 and 12 interceptions in 1950, a team record that would be matched by teammate Jack Christiansen, Doll helped Detroit win their first NFL Championship in 1952 and was named Pro Bowl MVP in that same season.
Former Lions FB Jerome Felton spent his first three NFL seasons in Detroit before later becoming Adrian Peterson's lead-blocker in Minnesota.
Felton would win just eight games in his three-year Lions career and was a part of Detroit's 0-16 season in 2008. Felton joined the Vikings in 2012 and helped Peterson rush for 2,097 yards, the second-best total in a single-season in NFL history.
Former Lions DB Jim Kearney would only spend two seasons in Detroit, but he was more famous for winning Super Bowl 4 with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Kearney would only appear in 13 games for the Lions and didn't contribute much. He would, however, be a starter in Kansas City's 23-7 upset over the Minnesota Vikings. Kearney is among a host of former Lions players to win the Super Bowl with other teams.
Former Lions LB-K Jim Martin spent 11 of his 14 seasons in the NFL with Detroit and was a great two-way player during his career.
While playing linebacker and placekicker, Martin was also an excellent guard who started on Detroit's 1952 title team. Martin placekicked from 1958-61 and made the Pro Bowl in 1961, where he led the team in scoring.
Current Lions long snapper Don Muhlbach has been with Detroit for a decade and is a major reason why Jason Hanson was one of the most successful kickers in NFL history.
Muhlbach snapped for Hanson for nine seasons, helping the kicker become one of the top scorers in NFL history. He was re-signed to a one-year contract this offseason.
Former Lions WR Larry Walton spent the first seven of his eight NFL seasons in Detroit and was one of the team's most consistent receivers.
Despite never recording a season with more than 35 receptions, Walton scored 26 touchdowns in his career and had over 2,500 receiving yards as a Lion. Walton currently ranks 20th on Detroit's all-time receiving list.
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