Ranking The 5 Greatest OTs In Detroit Lions History

Ranking The 5 Greatest OTs In Detroit Lions History

Detroit Lions
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

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

5. Jeff Backus (2001-12)

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5. Jeff Backus (2001-12)

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Despite being on many losing teams, Jeff Backus started in all but one game of his 12-year career, all with the Lions. Backus never made a Pro Bowl, but he was a solid player through some of the bumpiest and most turbulent years in franchise history. After 10 consecutive losing seasons to begin his career, Backus helped Detroit reach the postseason in 2011.

4. Keith Dorney (1979-87)

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4. Keith Dorney (1979-87)

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The Lions’ No. 1 choice in the 1979 draft, Keith Dorney earned a spot on the NFL’s All-Rookie team, and played at an elite level throughout the rest of his career. Dorney would be named to his only Pro Bowl after the 1982 season, and shared the team's Offensive MVP award with fullback James Jones in 1986. Dorney helped lead the Lions to consecutive postseason berths in 1982 and 1983.

3. Rocky Freitas (1968-78)

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3. Rocky Freitas (1968-78)

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Rocky Freitas was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1967, but was traded to Detroit a year later. After starting in the regular season finale of his rookie season, Freitas became a starter for the rest of his career. In 1970, Freitas helped the Lions reach the postseason, and in 1972, Freitas made his only Pro Bowl appearance.

2. Lomas Brown (1985-95)

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2. Lomas Brown (1985-95)

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One big reason for the Lions’ success during the 1990s was the play of Lomas Brown, who was the team's first-round selection in 1985. Brown became an immediate starter at left tackle as a rookie, and remained there for the next 11 seasons. Brown was a key anchor on the offensive line through the early to mid-90s, opening holes for Barry Sanders. Largely because of that, Brown made six straight Pro Bowl appearances from 1990-95.

1. Lou Creekmur (1950-59)

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1. Lou Creekmur (1950-59)

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As the only Hall of Famer on this list, Lou Creekmur rightfully deserves the claim as the greatest offensive tackle in team history. Creekmur played in every regular season and postseason game during his first nine years in the league, and went to eight-straight Pro Bowls from 1950-57. In 10 NFL seasons, all with Detroit, Creekmur lined up at left guard, left tackle, and also spent some time at middle guard (nose tackle) in 1955.


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