Detroit Lions 2016 Draft: Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This

Michael SuddsCorrespondent IAugust 14, 2010

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - FEBRUARY 07:  A detail of the Vince Lombardi Trophy as the New Orleans Saints celebrate after defeating the Indianapolis Colts during Super Bowl XLIV on February 7, 2010 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

I can see it so clearly in my mind’s eye. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell stepping up to the podium with that sly smile. He clears his voice, and says:

“With the 32nd and final pick of the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions select...Barry Sanders...Junior.”

The Lions fans at Radio City Music Hall erupt into cheers. Barry Sanders Sr. is seen beaming with pride. He knows that his son will be playing for a Lions team fresh off their back-to-back Super Bowl championships.

A Lions franchise that bears no resemblance to anything in his bittersweet experience.

With league MVP Jahvid Best showing signs of the punishment over the years, Barry Sanders Jr. has a chance to be the newest star in the Leo constellation. A Lions dynasty is born.

When ESPN’s Mike Sudds interviewed Matt Stafford, he asked Stafford for his opinion of the two-time All American and Heisman Trophy winner coming to Detroit.

“Mike, I am totally stoked! He’s been on my wishlist for two long years! We’ve had a great run, and Junior will take us all the way again.”

Stafford, who won the MVP trophy in 2014 with his history making performance, did not mince his words when praising Barry Sanders Jr.

“Man, did you see his highlight films? He’s been the talk of our locker room since 2010!”

I reminded Stafford that Sanders Jr. was in high school in 2010.

“Right, Mike. We could see his brilliance on the field even then. I started lobbying Mr. Mayhew way back in 2010.”

For the benefit of those of you who don’t remember Barry Sanders Junior’s high school highlights, take a peek at this.


We were all amazed with the combination of size, speed, balance, and that extraordinary vision that we’ve become so accustomed to.

Barry Sanders Junior looks nothing like the low-running, quick-cutting back that his father was during his terrific career with the Lions.

Those Sanders genes are evident in his ability to visualize the play unfolding, and his ability to exploit the smallest seam in the defense with explosive power.

While his grandfather still insists that Jim Brown was the greatest running back of all-time, I think that Junior’s dad can be proud.

Now, Barry Sanders Sr. has been on the record as saying that his son is an OK runner, but he really has to stop all of that showboating. hot dog stuff.

“It’s embarrassing," Sanders Senior said with a wink and a smile. “Has he learned nothing from me?”



Here’s another look at the young Barry Sanders Junior in his early days at Heritage Hall High School before he matured into the super stud that he is today:


We could see even then that he was going to go on to greatness. That he’s following in his father’s footsteps has brought joy to Lions fans world wide.

The newest Detroit Lion was asked about his father’s No. 20, which the Lions retired many years ago.

“Dad said that he really didn’t care.” That’s typical Sanders Sr. “I would like to make my No. 26 famous some day,” he said. Typical Sanders Jr.

Here’s an old, forgotten interview with Sanders Junior while in high school:

Would he return punts for the Lions, like he did at Heritage Hall? Like this one.

“I’ll do anything that coach Schwartz asks me to do,” Junior replied.


His commitment to bringing a third straight Lombardi Trophy back to Detroit, where it’s treated like the Stanley Cup, is all consuming.

When asked if he would like to take the current Lombardi Trophy out on the town like the other Lions players, he had this to say: “No, I haven’t earned that honor. Not yet, anyway.”

The fans of the two time world champs are going to go wild when Barry Sanders takes the field...“Michael. Michael! Wake up!”

"Uhhh, OK, Honey.”

What a nice dream.


Mike Sudds is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report. Mike is also an analyst and correspondent for