The 81-year history of the Detroit Lions is one rich in both talent and tradition.
Established as the Spartans in 1929 and given their current name upon moving to Detroit in 1934, the Lions are one of the league's oldest franchises.
From the elusive Barry Sanders to the legendary Bobby Layne, the Lions have long been greatly renowned for their accomplishments on the offensive side of the ball.
However, lost in its history are the brutal men of a callous breed. The cold-hearted monsters that played with an uncompromisingly ruthless mentality. These were defensive juggernauts, whose wins were forged at the bottom of the pile.
I’m not talking about Detroit Hall of Fame defensive ball hawks Lem Barney or Jack Christiansen.
I’m talking about the power hitters, men who were relentless in their pursuits.
Proper respect is due.
This is homage to the men that played with incredible instincts—men who intended not only to hit, but to destroy the ball carrier.
It was this apparent disregard of human safety that makes these five players the greatest hitters in Detroit Lions history.