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 selections for the best at Nos. 50-59.
For numbers 40-49, visit http://www.rantsports.com/nfl/2014/05/23/greatest-detroit-lions-by-number-nos-40-49/
Former Lions OL Charlie Ane spent all seven of his NFL seasons in Detroit, and Ane was one of the team's best offensive linemen ever.
Ane played both tackle and center, and he was a two-time Pro Bowl player in 1956 and 1958. Ane was also a member of both the 1953 and 1957 NFL Championship teams in Detroit. In his seven-year career, Ane started in all but one game.
Current Lions C Dominic Raiola has been one of Detroit's best players for each of the past 13 seasons, but unfortunately, Raiola suffered through many losing seasons.
Raiola has been one of Detroit's most durable and most dependable players, starting in all but 20 games in 13 seasons in the NFL. He would gain some success in 2011 by helping the Lions reach the postseason.
Former Lions C Steve Mott spent his entire six-year NFL career in Detroit as a quality starter.
As a rookie, Mott started for the Lions in the 1983 NFC Divisional Playoff game against San Francisco. Mott would be part of an offensive line that helped RB Billy Sims rush for 114 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries in the 24-23 loss to the 49ers.
Former Lions C Kevin Glover replaced Mott as Detroit's starting cente, and went on to hold the position for a decade.
Glover blocked for all but one of Barry Sanders' seasons in Detroit, even helping Sanders gain 2,053 rushing yards in 1997. Glover would make three Pro Bowl games as a Lion and appeared in 177 games, the sixth-most in team history. He is also the most recent Detroit lineman to make the Pro Bowl.
Former Lions LB Chris Spielman was one of Detroit's most decorated defenders, and he helped Detroit reach the postseason for the first time since 1983.
Spielman played eight seasons in Detroit and helped the Lions reach the postseason four times, including a victory in 1991 against Dallas. He is the Lions' all-time leading tackler with 1,138 and made the Pro Bowl four times.
Former Lions LB Wayne Walker was a fourth-round pick in 1958, but he played like a first-round pick in each of his 15 seasons in Detroit.
Walker made three Pro Bowl appearances from 1964-66, and while being a productive linebacker, he was also an effective kicker. Walker ranks second in team history in both games played (200) and seasons (15), both behind K Jason Hanson.
Without a doubt, former Lions LB Joe Schmidt is Detroit's greatest defensive player, but Schmidt was just a seventh-round draft pick in 1953.
He would win two world championships with Detroit in 1953 and 1957 and made the Pro Bowl in 10 of his 13 NFL seasons, all with Detroit. Schmidt also coached the Lions to the playoffs in 1970, and his No. 56 is retired by the team.
Former Lions LB Stephen Boyd had the daunting of trying to replace Spielman, but he did a pretty good job.
Boyd made back-to-back Pro Bowl appearances in 1999 and 2000 and spent all seven of his NFL seasons in Detroit. In the 1999 NFC Wild Card game against Washington, Boyd recorded an interception. Boyd is the last Lions linebacker to make the Pro Bowl.
Former Lions LB George Jamison came to Detroit through the 1984 Supplemental Draft, and despite not debuting until 1987, he would become a solid linebacker with the team.
For nine seasons, Jamison was an effective starter who teamed with Chris Spielman to give the Lions two solid linebackers. Jamison went on to record nine interceptions in his Detroit career and made 470 solo tackles, which ranks fourth in team history.
Former Lions LB Charlie Weaver was a second-round pick in 1971, but he played like a first-round pick for a majority of his career.
Weaver played all 11 of his NFL seasons in Detroit, and in 1981 he came back to Detroit after a five-game stint in Washington. Unfortunately for Weaver, the Lions made the postseason in 1970 and 1982, the year before he was drafted and the year after he left the NFL.
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