The Detroit Lions landed a player on the NFL’s top 100 list at running back in Barry Sanders, and seemed like a virtual lock to land another at wide receiver in Calvin Johnson.
That, however, didn’t happen. Johnson was unexpectedly snubbed from the list, which included a few other solid players from the time Johnson was doing most of his damage. 10 players cracked the list and Johnson wasn’t one of them, even in spite of his statistical dominance.
Here’s a look at the names which did make the list, plenty of which cannot be argued with. Johnson, however, is a pretty glaring omission all things considered for the league.
In the aftermath of the decision, many erupted on the internet calling for Johnson to be in with the group, and for good reason. Johnson, nicknamed Megatron for the superhuman plays he was able to make catching the ball, was amongst the biggest physical specimen receivers of his time and helped re-write the record books.
As many, including former Lions and NFL offensive lineman T.J. Lang were saying after the decision, it’s time for a modern era group to comprise a list different from the others thanks to the fact that some key players are getting left off the list.
Predictably, that’s a comment about Elroy Hirsch given his status as an older player from a completely different era of the game. It’s tough to understand how Johnson could have been left off the list given how dominant he was physically and otherwise.
Quite possibly, he changed the game in the biggest way possible of any wideout on the list, which makes him the biggest missing element.
Obviously, everyone on the list changed the game in their own way and were legendary figures for the game. Johnson should have been counted as such.
Calvin Johnson Lions Statistics
Since he came into the league with the Lions in 2007, Johnson wasted little time putting up great plays and amazing statistics. In his career, Johnson put up 11,619 yards and 83 touchdowns and more than that, was a human highlight reel unlike any other receiver on the list. Out of Georgia Tech, Johnson was labeled as one of the freakiest players in the draft and he lived up to that distinction in the NFL.
Johnson shattered Rice’s record of 1,848 receiving yards during the 2012 season and was a stable force for the team, often playing through pain and discomfort on the field. He walked away following the 2015 season, leaving a gaping hole in Detroit’s wideout group. Since, Johnson has been embroiled in a feud with the Lions for the last few seasons over money that the team made him pay back upon retirement.
Regardless of that, Johnson deserves to be honored for what he did on the field and how he changed the game, and undoubtably, this is one of the biggest snubs of all during the process of selection.
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