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NFL Detroit Lions

Ranking The 5 Greatest Guards In Detroit Lions History

Ranking The 5 Greatest Guards In Detroit Lions History

Detroit Lions
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Ranking the best NFL offensive guards of all-time is something that many have done, but few actually agree upon. The criteria used by different people could include on-the-field achievements, positional rankings, or even success in the postseason. When I evaluated the best Detroit Lions offensive guards of all time, it is easy to see why the Lions have had a great history at the position. Here now are my five greatest guards in Lions history.

5. Jim Martin (1951-61)

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

5. Jim Martin (1951-61)

Detroit Lions
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

One of the most versatile players in franchise history, Jim Martin was acquired from the Cleveland Browns in 1951 in exchange for Detroit’s 1952 first-round pick. Martin had a great 11-year career in Detroit, not just as a guard. Martin was also a star linebacker, defensive end and the team's kicker. Martin led the team in scoring in 1958, 1960 and 1961, and started for two of Detroit's championship teams in the 1950s.

4. Ox Emerson (1931-37)

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

4. Ox Emerson (1931-37)

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Ox Emerson was a consensus all-pro pick in 1932, 1934, 1935 and 1936. He was also a dominant two-way player at guard and linebacker. He began his career with the Portsmouth Spartans beginning in 1931, and followed the team when they moved to Detroit, helping the franchise win their first NFL title in 1935. Emerson was an All-Pro selection from 1932-36 and played his entire eight-year career with the Spartans/Lions.

3. Harley Sewell (1953-62)

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3. Harley Sewell (1953-62)

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A stalwart on the great Lion teams of the 1950s, Harley Sewell was Detroit's No. 1 draft choice in the famed 1953 draft class. He was an immediate starter at right guard, and remained there for each of the next 10 seasons. With Sewell on the team, the Lions won both the 1953 and 1957 championships. Sewell was a four-time Pro Bowl player, earning the honors from 1957-59 and in 1962.

2. Dick Stanfel (1952-55)

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2. Dick Stanfel (1952-55)

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Dick Stanfel was the Lions' second-round pick in 1951, but did not play until the following season. He was immediately a starter and proceeded to help the Lions win back-to-back titles against the Cleveland Browns in 1952 and 1953. In 1953, Stanfel earned team MVP honors and was also named to the Pro Bowl in 1954. However, Stanfel traded to the Washington Redskins in 1955, where he would make the Pro Bowl three more times.

1. John Gordy (1957, 1959-67)

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Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

1. John Gordy (1957, 1959-67)

Detroit Lions
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

John Gordy was one of the best offensive linemen in the 1960s and helped the Lions win their final championship as a rookie in 1957. Gordy was the Lions' second-round pick and was an immediate starter. After sitting out the 1958 season, he came back a year later and didn't leave until 1967. Gordy went to three straight Pro Bowls after the 1963, 1964 and 1965 seasons. In addition, he never missed a game in his 10-year career.