Top 10 Lions Of 2012, No. 6: Brandon Pettigrew

DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 11: Brandon Pettigrew #87 of the Detroit Lions scores on a first quarter touchdown during the game against the Minneota Vikings at Ford Field on December 11, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

Pride of Detroit is counting down the top 10 Lions players of 2012, as voted on by readers of the site. More than 400 ballots were submitted, and today we are taking a look at the No. 6 player on the list.

No. 6 - TE Brandon Pettigrew - 1,256 points

Coming in at sixth on the top 10 Lions of 2012 is another member of Detroit's 2009 draft class: Brandon Pettigrew. He was the Lions' second first-round pick in 2009 and edged out fellow 2009 draftee Louis Delmas by 26 points for the sixth spot on the list. This is because he was on 290 ballots, eight more than Delmas and the most of any player on the list so far.

Pettigrew began his career with an injury-shortened season. After recording 30 catches for 346 yards and two touchdowns, Pettigrew went down with a torn ACL on Thanksgiving. It wasn't clear at the time how the injury might affect his sophomore season in the NFL, but it luckily didn't force him to miss any game action.

In 2010, after battling back from the injury, Pettigrew made 16 starts and had a breakout season with 71 catches, 722 yards and four touchdowns. He built on that season with career numbers in 2011. He had 16 more starts and 83 catches for 777 yards and five touchdowns.

Entering his fourth season in the NFL, Pettigrew is a key part of the Lions' offense. He is not only a major target for Matthew Stafford, but he is a solid blocker as well. He does need to be more consistent and limit how many drops he has, but Pettigrew is already one of the Lions' biggest weapons on offense, which is why he ended up being ranked just outside the top five on the list of the top 10 Lions of 2012.

Top 10 Lions of 2012
1. WR Calvin Johnson (281) 4,370 points
2. QB Matthew Stafford (168) 4,259 points
3. DT Ndamukong Suh (4) 2,981 points
4. LB Stephen Tulloch 2,190 points
5. DE Cliff Avril (1) 2,014 points
6. TE Brandon Pettigrew 1,256 points
7. S Louis Delmas 1,230 points
8. WR Titus Young 1,024 points
9. K Jason Hanson (1) 750 points
10. RB Jahvid Best 747 points

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