The Detroit Lions’ 5 Most Underrated Players In Franchise History

The 5 Most Underrated Players In Detroit Lions History

Jason Hanson Lions
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The Detroit Lions have lacked their fair share of success over the years, especially for a team that has been around for at least 75 years. Still, contrary to the history of failure for the Lions is the number of great players the team has seen over time. Some players have even slipped through the cracks and are actually better than most remember them being. Here now are my five most underrated Lions players of all time.

5. Mel Gray, Returner (1989-94)

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5. Mel Gray, Returner (1989-94)

Mel Gray Lions
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Before Devin Hester and Dante Hall became excellent returners, there was Mel Gray. In 1994, when Barry Sanders led the NFL in rushing, Gray led the NFL in kickoff return touchdowns (three) and kickoff return average (28.4). In 1991, he led the NFL in punt and kick return average as well as kickoff return yards. During his six seasons in Detroit, Gray went to four Pro Bowls and owns virtually every Lions returning record.

4. Brett Perriman, WR (1991-96)

Brett Perriman Lions
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4. Brett Perriman, WR (1991-96)

Brett Perriman Lions
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Brett Perriman joined the Lions after a trade from the New Orleans Saints for just a fifth-round pick. The move was one of the biggest steals for the Lions as Perriman became one of the most prolific receivers in team history outside of Herman Moore and Calvin Johnson. Perriman led the team in catches in his first two years with the club, and caught over 100 passes in 1995. He helped the Lions make four postseason appearances.

3. Kevin Glover, C (1985-97)

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3. Kevin Glover, C (1985-97)

Kevin Glover Lions
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After being drafted in 1985, Kevin Glover became a starter at right guard in 1987 and moved to left guard in 1988 before taking over and never relinquishing the position from 1989 until his final season in 1997. Glover was one of the most underrated centers in the league throughout the early 1990s. He was recognized as an All-Pro in 1995 and made three Pro Bowls from 1995-97. He and blocked for Barry Sanders in all but one of his 10 NFL seasons.

2. Cory Schlesinger, FB (1995-2007)

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2. Cory Schlesinger, FB (1995-2007)

Cory Schlesinger Lions
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A fan favorite for many years, FB Cory Schlesinger was one of the best pure fullbacks in the NFL. A sixth-round pick in 1995, Schlesinger was used mainly as a lead blocker and on special teams during his first six seasons, but he was one of the best to ever do it in Detroit blue and white. He was named as an alternate to the Pro Bowl three times (2002-04) and blocked for two 1,000-yard runners in James Stewart and Kevin Jones.

1. Jason Hanson, K (1992-2012)

Jason Hanson Lions
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1. Jason Hanson, K (1992-2012)

Jason Hanson Lions
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In a majority of Jason Hanson's 21 seasons with the Lions, the kicker went to two Pro Bowls and was the team's best offensive player. He ranks fifth in career games, third in career points and third in field goals made. No NFL player in history has played as many games with one team as Hanson has with the Lions. The kicker's late-game heroics include 17 game-winning field goals and nine in overtime.


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