Detroit Lions Top 50: #24-20 with VIDEO

5 of 5

20. Billy Sims, RB, 1980-1984

Billy Sims was the third-greatest running back in Lions history and is second on the career rushing yards list.

Sims attended the University of Oklahoma, where he played for coach Barry Switzer’s Oklahoma Sooners football team from 1976 to 1979. After battling injuries during his freshman and sophomore seasons, Sims rushed for 1,762 yards on 231 carries as a junior, an excellent average of 7.6 yards per carry.

In 1978 Sims was awarded the Heisman Trophy, becoming only the sixth junior to do so. He was runner-up the following season in 1979.

Sims was the first overall pick in the 1980 NFL Draft. He spent his career with the Detroit Lions, making the Pro Bowl in 1980, 1981, and 1982. Sims led Detroit to the playoffs in 1982 and 1983, but they would go on to lose in the first round in both appearances.

Sims’ career would ultimately end midway through the 1984 season when he suffered a catastrophic knee injury in a game against the Minnesota Vikings. Sims finished his career with 1131 carries for 5106 yards (4.5 yards per carry), and 186 receptions for 2072 yards (11.1 yards per catch.

I cap this article off with one of the greatest Detroit Lions clips of all-time — the Billy Sims karate kick, Feel free to watch twice.