I will admit, I am taking the easy way out with the No. 8 spot on the list of Detroit Lions draft successes since 2001. Originally I hadn't planned on giving out ties to any spots, but I wanted to include both Louis Delmas and DeAndre Levy in the top 10, so I said screw it and gave the No. 8 spot to both of them.
Delmas was picked 33rd overall (second round) in the 2009 NFL Draft. He started all 15 games he played in 2009 and had 94 total tackles and two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. He also had a fumble recovery that was returned for a touchdown. This past season, Delmas also started all 15 games he played. He had 84 tackles and no interceptions, but he did force two fumbles.
DeAndre Levy was the 76th pick (third round) of the 2009 NFL Draft. He started 10 games in 2009 and had 85 tackles, an interception and a forced fumble. In 2010, he started 11 games (he only played in 11 rather than all 16 like in his rookie year) and had 72 tackles and two interceptions, one of which was returned for the go-ahead touchdown against the Miami Dolphins.
Like both Brandon Pettigrew and Sammie Hill, both of these players likely would be ranked higher on this list if it was made a few years from now. Delmas and Levy are expected to anchor the safety and linebacker positions for years to come and have shown a lot of potential during their first two seasons. Groin injuries slowed them down a bit in 2010, but if they can get healthy and stay healthy I would expect them to rise up this list pretty quickly.
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