When general manager Brad Holmes calls in Detroit’s first pick (No. 7 overall) in the NFL Draft later this month, it will be the fifth time since 1945 that the Lions have held that selection.
This, of course, is assuming that Holmes & Co. hold on to the pick.
It’s expected that the Lions have plenty of options with the choice, and pundits aren’t exactly sold on what they’ll do with the pick.
Some say that, despite the offseason addition of Jared Goff, Detroit is still in the market for a quarterback. Others think that a skill player, or perhaps an offensive lineman, is in the cards.
There’s always the chance that the Lions choose a defender with their first choice, as well.
With that said, here’s a look at what the Lions have done in the past with the No. 7 pick, ranked from worst to best.
4.) Andre Ware, quarterback, Houston (1990)
This selection made sense at the time -- Ware was coming off a season in which he broke numerous NCAA records and won the Heisman Trophy.
With Detroit in the market for a signal-caller, the leaders of the organization snagged Ware with hopes that he’d turn the struggling franchise around.
That was not the case, as Ware played in just 14 games -- starting six -- over four seasons. He threw just five touchdowns, against eight interceptions.
Ware was expected to do so much more. Granted, he was a part of two playoff teams, but watched as Erik Kramer and Rodney Peete carried the load from behind center.
When his four seasons in Detroit were over, Ware proceeded to play on the Raiders' and Jaguars’ practice squads, before finishing his career in the Canadian Football League.
3.) Reggie Rogers, defensive tackle, Washington (1987)
Rogers was a phenomenal college player, earning All-American honors and winning the Orange Bowl at Washington, while also playing three seasons on the Huskies basketball team.
He was the first defensive lineman taken in the draft, as the Lions were a fan of Rogers' upside.
Unfortunately, Rogers’ career was brief. In his second season with the team, Rogers ran a stop sign while driving under the influence, and struck a car, killing three teenagers. The Lions released him, and Rogers spent time in prison.
When Rogers was released from prison, he played one season apiece for Buffalo (1991) and Tampa Bay (1992). His career ended after that, and he dealt with numerous legal troubles.
Rogers died in 2013, after overdosing on cocaine and alcohol.
2.) Mel Farr, running back, UCLA (1967)
Far ran for 1,716 yards in three seasons at UCLA, before entering the draft, where the Lions selected him seventh overall.
He was a consensus All-American in 1966, a year in which he ran for 809 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Upon being drafted, Farr looked to be a solid pick right away.
As a rookie, he ran for 860 yards and three touchdowns. He was named the Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year for his performance, and made the Pro Bowl.
He would make a second Pro Bowl in his fourth year with the team, after he ran for 717 yards and a career-high nine touchdowns.
Unfortunately for Farr, he would suffer a series of injuries that would derail his career. Farr wound up playing seven seasons, but his production fell off as the injuries piled up.
1.) Roy Williams, wide receiver, Texas (2004)
The most recent of the Lions’ selections at seventh overall, Williams announced his presence with authority.
As a rookie, Williams caught 54 passes for 817 yards and eight touchdowns. He was named to the All-Rookie Team for his performance.
He produced eight touchdowns again in his second year, before breaking out in year three with 82 catches for 1,310 yards and seven touchdowns.
Williams was joined by rookie -- and future Hall of Famer -- Calvin Johnson in 2007. As part of the tandem, Williams contributed 838 yards and five touchdowns.
Entering the final year of his contract in 2008, Williams was traded to Dallas five games into what would become a winless season for Detroit.
He was consistent but never spectacular for the Cowboys in three seasons, before finishing his career with one season in Chicago.
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