Ranking The Top Colleges At Producing Detroit Lions


Which College Has Been The Best At Producing Detroit Lions?


This is the 12th article in a 12-part series that will examine which colleges have been the best at producing Detroit Lions in the 21st century. Today will be a ranking of all of the colleges covered in the series.

11: Oklahoma

Grade: F

Players:

Ryan Broyles

Ronnell Lewis

Travis Lewis

None of these players had any major impact and are all out of the NFL now. This is easily the most disappointing college because none of the players ever did anything notable in the NFL.

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10: Alabama

Grade: D

Players:

Ramzee Robinson

Michael Williams

Cyrus Kouandjio

A’Shawn Robinson

None of these players have had good NFL careers, but unlike Oklahoma, Robinson and Kouandjio both have a shot to earn starting positions and prove themselves this year.

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9: Auburn

Grade: C-

Players:

Gabe Wright

Greg Robinson

Nick Fairley

Gabe Wright and Greg Robinson were both complete busts. Nick Fairley was an ok player, but left the Lions after just four years.

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8: Illinois

Grade: C

Players:

Mikel Leshoure

Tavon Wilson

Akeem Spence

None of these players have had very good NFL careers, but all of them have played average at their peaks. Leshoure is out of the NFL now, but Spence and Wilson both have a chance to prove themselves for the Lions in 2017.

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7: Michigan

Grade: C+

Players:

Jake Rudock

Graham Glasgow

Jeff Backus

Jake Rudock is a promising backup quarterback. Glasgow looked surprisingly decent as a guard in his rookie season last year, and Jeff Backus was the Lions left tackle for more than a decade, missing only one game in his entire career.

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6: California

Grade: C+

Players:

Jahvid Best

Zack Follett

Marvin Jones

Jahvid Best and Zack Follett were both guys with very high potential who saw their careers ended early with injuries. The jury is still out on Marvin Jones, he will start for the Lions this year and hopefully establish himself as a number one receiver.

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5: Georgia

Grade: B-

Players:

Kris Durham

Cornelius Washington

Matthew Stafford

Kris Durham and Cornelius Washington have not done anything of note in the NFL, but Matthew Stafford is so important that he drags Georgia up several spots in the rankings. Just like he dragged the Lions to an NFL record eight comeback wins last year and a playoff berth.

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4: Arkansas

Grade: B-

Jeremiah Ledbetter

Travis Swanson

Chris Houston

Travis Swanson just finished his third season in the NFL, and was very good in it. Chris Houston’s career is over, but he had a few above average years for the Lions. Jeremiah Ledbetter is a rookie this season.

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3: Wisconsin

Grade: B+

Players:

Jared Abbrederis

Rick Wagner

DeAndre Levy

Abbrederis has not proven anything in his career, and is competing to make the Lions roster this year. Wagner just signed with the Lions and is one of the best right tackles in the NFL. There was a time when Levy was arguably the best linebacker in the NFL.

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2: Notre Dame

Grade: B+

Players:

TJ Jones

Theo Riddick

Golden Tate

TJ Jones has made a few big catches in his NFL career, but not much else. Theo Riddick had developed into one of the top pass catching backs in the NFL and Golden Tate has caught more than 90 passes in three consecutive seasons.

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1: Nebraska

Grade: A-

Players:

Lydon Murtha

Ameer Abdullah

Cory Schlesinger

Kyle Vanden Bosch

Dominic Raiola

Ndamukong Suh

Suh, Raiola, and Schlesinger all had great Lions careers and belong in the ring of honor. Vanden Bosch was good for the Lions. Abdullah still has a chance to prove himself. Murtha didn’t have much of an NFL career.

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Conclusion

Nebraska is the easy choice for the best college at producing Detroit Lions. Not only did they have the most Lions produced, but most of them were great Lions – Schlesinger and Raiola were both with the Lions for over a decade, Vanden Bosch was also a good NFL player for over a decade, and Suh made the all pro team five times in his five years in Detroit. Honorable mentions to Notre Dame, Wisconsin and Arkansa for producing more than one above average Lions player each.

None of the other colleges were able to produce more than one above average player, and many of the couldn’t even produce one.

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