One neat twist the league has for the NFL Draft is their decision to roll out former NFL veterans that have proudly represented all 32 franchises to announce their team’s pick. Who could forget last year, when former Lions receiver Nate Burleson gave an impassioned speech about the city of Detroit before announcing their pick of Kerryon Johnson in the second round?
This year, the Lions will be winding back the clock a little more. The NFL announced on Thursday that former running back Billy Sims and fullback Cory Schlesinger will be announcing the team’s second and third-round picks respectively. You can see a full list of each team’s alumni here:
64 former and active players will announce selections at the 2019 NFL Draft (Rounds 2 and 3).— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) April 4, 2019
Names include: Terrell Owens, Shaun Alexander, Charles Woodson, Orlando Pace, Christian McCaffrey, Kam Chancellor, DeAndre Hopkins & Geno Atkins
Full list below: pic.twitter.com/W3sIVBrvvu
It’s kind of interesting that as the Lions appear to be welcoming a new era focused on old-school rushing and dominating the trenches with a strong running game and run defense, they invite two of the players most emblematic of that playing style. Schlesinger was a three-time Pro Bowl alternate—interestingly enough, all came after his playing time alongside Barry Sanders. Meanwhile, Sims is a three-time Pro Bowler who won Offensive Rookie of the Year in 1980 after earning 1,924 all-purpose yards and 15 total touchdowns.
Sims and Schlesinger join the likes of Burleson, Stephen Tulloch, Barry Sanders, Herman Moore and Lem Barney as former Lions players to announce draft picks.