5 Detroit Lions Have Been Drafted Third

John Maakaron

In this year's NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions will select third for the sixth time in the history of the franchise.

From a quarterback who played college football at Oregon to a halfback who played at Ohio State, Detroit has selected four offensive players and just one defensive player with the third pick. 

Here are the five players selected with the third pick of the first round by the Detroit Lions. 

2002 - QB Joey Harrington 

Drafted by Matt Millen, Harrington's career in Detroit was viewed as lackluster and unsuccessful. 

His best season for Detroit was in 2004 when he passed for 19 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. 

He played for Detroit, Miami, Atlanta and New Orleans. After being cut but the Saints in 2009, his playing career ended.

1989 - RB Barry Sanders

Sanders had an immediate and positive impact on the Lions' organization. In his rookie season, he won the NFL's Rookie of the Year award. 

Throughout his career, he averaged over 1,500 rushing yards per season and just under 100 rushing yards per game. 

He rushed for over 2,000 yards during the 1997 season. He became the third player in NFL history to accomplish this feat. 

After retiring suddenly and unexpectedly in 1998, he has been welcomed back by the organization and by fans due to the many spectacular highlight-reel runs he showcased throughout his career. 

He was elected to the Pro-Football Hall of Fame in 2004.

1988 - S Bennie Blades 

Detroit selected Blades third overall in the 1988 NFL Draft, and he went on to earn NFL All-Rookie honors. 

He was the Lions’ defensive MVP in 1992 and led the team with 78 tackles in 1996. He recorded two 100-tackle seasons with Detroit. 

Blades was part of two teams that won the NFC Central title and was on the roster in 1991, the last time Detroit secured a playoff victory. 

His 815 career tackles place him second on the Lions’ all-time list.

1960 - HB Johnny Robinson

Robinson was drafted by the Dallas Texans in the 1st round of the 1960 AFL Draft. 

He was also selected third overall by the Detroit Lions in the 1960 NFL Draft. Did not ever suit up for the Lions.

In 1960, he played for the Texans. In 1963, the Texans were renamed the Kansas City Chiefs and Robinson played 12 seasons for the same organization. 

In August of 2018, Robinson was selected as a Senior Committee Nominee for the 2019 Pro-Football Hall of Fame induction class. He was elected into the Hall of Fame in February of 2019.

1956 - HB Howard Cassady

Cassady played college football at Ohio State and won the Heisman Trophy in 1955. 

He played in the NFL for eight seasons, seven of them for the Lions. Recorded 27 career touchdowns. 

Was a member of the 1957 championship squad that defeated the Cleveland Browns 59-14. 


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Comments (3)
No. 1-3

I WANNA POST THIS A 3rd Time. What happens to stafford that's had a broken back I'd argue 3 seasons now. If he goes down in 2020 and we skip on Tua maybe the best left handed QB in 20 years cause he dislocated his hip . I'm a lions fan and all I want is Tua Tagovailoa Arm for the next 8-10 years. If you bet on Stafford 10 years running your the Einstein Def of Insanity. So I'll keep hitting up message boards. PLEADING for Sanity for the 3rd pick.


Think stafford is one hit away from a wheelchair detroit should get some trade value if he will ever have some it's this season all rested up with his broken back. .. vs Tua with a dislocated hip. CMON DETROIT TUA#3 #2020


If my choices were a broken back stafford the last 2 seasons and a dislocated hip Tua Bye Statsford if you love Detroit take a Trade to Miami and retire the first game. You had a broken back the last 2 seasons but your all the sudden good to go like the last 10 years in detroit??? C'mon Tua to Detroit#3 best college QB rating in history, the new statsf9rd if he was playing on his best day.