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 99, I will attempt to rank the greatest Lions players for each jersey number. This list continues with my selections for the best at No. 70-79.
For No. 60-69, visit http://www.rantsports.com/nfl/2014/05/23/greatest-detroit-lions-by-number-nos-60-69/
Former Lions OT Keith Dorney was selected No. 10 overall in 1979, and he didn't disappoint at all.
For nine seasons, Dorney blocked for Lions backs, and was a main reason why RB Billy Sims had the success that he had in his brief five-year career. Dorney made two playoff appearances in 1982 and 1983 with Detroit and was named to his only Pro Bowl in 1982.
Former Lions DT Alex Karras was one of the fiercest members of the Lions’ famed "Fearsome Foursome" defensive line unit of the 1960s, and if not for a controversy, would be in the Hall of Fame.
Karras played 12 seasons in the NFL, all for the Lions. Karras was drafted by the Lions No. 10 overall in the 1958 NFL Draft. Karras would make four Pro Bowl appearances in his career, but a one-year gambling suspension has hurt his Hall of Fame case.
Better known as "Big Daddy," former Lions DT Dan Wilkinson teamed with Shaun Rogers ("Big Baby") to form an intimidating interior tandem in the mid-2000s.
Wilkinson started in all 48 games in his three-year Lions career, and was instrumental in helping Rogers become a Pro Bowl player. As mainly a run-stuffing presence, Wilkinson recorded 6.5 sacks in his Lions career and made 72 tackles in three years.
Despite playing just five seasons in Detroit, former DT Thurman McGraw made quite a mark in Detroit.
McGraw helped Detroit win both the 1952 and 1953 NFL Championships before retiring in 1954. McGraw was a starter on both championships teams and made his only Pro Bowl appearance in 1950 as a rookie.
After being a backup for his first five seasons as a Lion, DE Larry Hand would be a fixture in the starting lineup in the 1970s.
Playing alongside greats like Alex Karras, Roger Brown and Darris McCord, Hand was the forgotten player on Detroit's defensive line. Hand would intercept five passes as a defensive lineman, including two for touchdowns. Hand also recovered eight fumbles in his 13-year Lions career.
A rookie in 1957, former Lions G John Gordy joined Detroit at exactly the right time.
Gordy would be a champion in his first season with the team, and went on to have a successful career. Gordy was named to the Pro Bowl three times from 1963-65, and was one of Detroit's most decorated linemen on either side of the ball.
Only Detroit's second offensive lineman to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, former Lions OT Lou Creekmur was a mainstay for all three of Detroit's title teams in the 1950s.
Creekmur was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1986 after being an eight-time Pro Bowl player, a six-time All-Pro and a three-time NFL Champion in 10 seasons with Detroit.
For eight seasons, G Mike Compton was one of Detroit's most physical offensive linemen in the 1990s.
Compton was a starter in 1997, and helped Barry Sanders achieve his 2,053 yard season in 1997. Compton was also a long snapper in Detroit. In 2001, Compton joined the Patriots and won Super Bowl XXXVI. Compton would also win Super Bowl XXXVIII with the Patriots before retiring in 2004.
Former Lions DT Doug English was one of the reasons why Detroit's famed "Silver Rush" of the late 1970's and early 1980s was so successful.
English was a force inside, and went on to play in four Pro Bowls. English also helped the Lions reach the postseason in 1982 and 1983. English holds the Lions career record with four safeties, and is tied with Ted Hendricks for the most all-time.
For a decade, DE William Gay, along with English and a host of others, caused havoc for opposing quarterbacks on a unit called the "Silver Rush."
The keys to the defensive line were English on the inside, and Gay on the outside providing pressure to opposing quarterbacks. Gay helped the Lions reach the postseason in both 1982 and 1983, and finished his Lions career with 44.5 sacks.
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