Detroit Lions Top 50: #44-40 with VIDEO

3 of 5

42. David Sloan, TE, 1995-2001

Yet another 1990’s fan-favorite makes our list at No. 42, tight end David Sloan.

The Lions do not have a particularly strong history of tight end play, with the exception of one player (to be named later). But David Sloan, while never flashy, played seven years with the Lions, and was a Pro Bowler in 1999, his best receiving year.

Sloan initially bypassed football for basketball, enrolling at Fresno City College, a junior college in Fresno, California. He played for the Rams as a freshman and sophomore, earning All-Conference academic honors both years. Sloan then transferred to the University of New Mexico, where he played college football during his junior and senior years for Lobos head coach Dennis Franchione. He earned All-WAC honorable mention in 1993, and All-WAC first team honors in 1994.

Sloan was drafted by the Lions in the third round (70th overall) of the 1995 National Football League Draft. He was the seventh tight end drafted. Sloan played for the Lions for seven seasons from 1995-2001. Sloan’s best season came in 1999 when he had 47 receptions for 591 yards and 4 touchdowns, earning him a spot on the 2000 NFC Pro Bowl team. He was the first tight end from the 1995 draft class to make a Pro Bowl, and was the first Lions tight end to make a Pro Bowl since David Hill in 1979. Sloan was also named as an alternate to the 2001 NFC Pro Bowl team.

Sloan was also a major contributing factor Barry Sanders success running the ball. He often paved the was for Sanders throughout the late 90’s and when Sanders retired in 99′, Sloan was able to get more touches, hence his Pro Bowl bid that same season.

Sloan would go on to  finish his NFL career in New Orleans with the Saints. He ended with 192 receptions for 2,151 yards and 15 touchdowns over 9 seasons.