The Detroit Lions franchise is the fifth oldest NFL franchise. Over the long history of this franchise, they have seen their fair share of good wide receivers. That obviously brings up the question of who are the greatest Detroit Lions wide receivers in franchise history? Although most at the top of the list are modern-era players due to the game-changing from a run-only game to the pass-heavy game it is today. Let’s get to the numbers and see why these are the five greatest Detroit lions wide receivers in the franchise history.
5. Marvin Jones
Jones‘ name is all of the receiving books for the franchise in his little time spent with the team. Jones only played in 69 games as a Lion and is still eighth in targets (478), 10th in receptions (289), ninth in yards (4,296), third in touchdowns (36), and ninth in yards per game(62.3). Jones is also the only wide receiver in Lions history to never fumble the ball with at least 200 career receptions. Jones may be a goner, but even if he leaves, he has staked his claim as one of the five greatest Detroit Lions wide receivers in franchise history.
4. Golden Tate
Tate ended his Lions career with the fifth-most targets (596), fifth in receptions (416), seventh in yards (4,741), 16th in touchdowns (22), and fourth in yards per game (66.8). The biggest thing that makes these numbers pop out is the lack of games played to get these stats. He also had the franchise record for the highest catch rate on target for a wide receiver (69.8) with a minimum of 200 receptions. Tate only played in 71 games as a Lion and that is significantly less than everyone else on this list to this point. Tate came in and was an electric player for the Lions and was someone who needed to be accounted for every time he was on the field.
3. Johnnie Morton
Morton was Herman Moore’s running mate for multiple seasons in Detroit. Morton benefited from the defenses looking more at Moore than Morton. However, Morton is a very solid receiver in his own right. Morton ends up currently third in targets (866), third in receptions (469), third in yards (6,499), fourth in touchdowns (35), and 12th in yards per game (51.6).
2. Herman Moore
Moore is just as clear-cut the number two receiver in the list of greatest Detroit Lions wide receivers in franchise history, as Calvin Johnson is the number one. Moore is second all-time in targets (1,135), receptions (670), yards (9,174), and touchdowns (62). He is also eighth in yards per game (63.3). Moore was in the Lions record books for years until Johnson came along and took them over. Moore also played 10 more games than Johnson which just further goes to show what kind of player Johnson was.
1. Calvin Johnson
There is no one else in the conversation for the number one spot on the greatest Detroit Lions wide receivers of all-time list. The recent inductee into the hall of fame leads the Lions in targets (1,312), receptions (731), yards (11,619), touchdowns (83), and yards per game (86.1). The man they call “Megatron” was one of the top receivers in league history, not just the Lions franchise history. Megatron was always doubled and sometimes tripled teamed in coverage and still put up numbers as he did. He still holds the NFL all-time record for the most yards in a single season with 1,964.
After deep diving the franchise receiving stats for the Lions it shows that the more modern the player the better the overall numbers are. Of course, I take that into consideration, and some players withstand the test of time and some do not.
Let me know in the comments below stating who I missed and who you think could have been left off my greatest Detroit Lions wide receivers of all-time list.
Thanks for reading my article about the five greatest Detroit Lions wide receivers in franchise history. For more Lions content follow me on Twitter @Gullett_James. Also, follow OT Heroics Football @OTH_Football.
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