O'Hara: Jason Hanson's long career a testament to durability and strength

Posted Apr 4, 2013

Hanson - who would be entering his 22nd NFL season - has seen six players elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame who actually began their careers after him

Whether the negotiating process extends Jason Hanson's career with the Lions for another season – at least – or ends it after 21 years in Detroit, no team can expect to get the longevity from a draft pick that the Lions have gotten from Hanson.
Jason HansonK Jason Hanson

The stats and figures Hanson has compiled in his career underscore the durability and production that have allowed him to compete at such a high level from his rookie season in 1992 through 2012.

Hanson ranks first on the NFL's all-time list in regular season games played with one team with 327. Morten Andersen is No. 1 in games played, with 382 spread out over 26 seasons (1982-2007), and with five teams (Saints, Falcons, Chiefs, Vikings, Giants).

Hanson is third in career field goals with 495, behind Andersen (565) and Gary Anderson (538).

The kicking triumvirate of Hanson, Andersen and Anderson sounds like a window-company conglomerate.

Games and kicks aside, some numbers related to Hanson's draft position in 1992 range from quirky to amazing, for how they relate to Hanson's longevity.

At the top of the amazing list: six players began their careers and were voted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame since the Lions drafted Hanson in 1992 with the last pick in the second round and 56th overall.

The six Hall of Famers and their draft years: William Roaf (1993), Marshall Faulk (1994), Larry Allen (1994), Warren Sapp (1995), Curtis Martin (1995), Jonathan Ogden (1996).

Some other numbers related to Hanson's draft status:

5,276: The number of players taken in the regular draft after Hanson. The figure does not include supplemental draft picks.

There were 28 teams in 1992, and the draft lasted 12 rounds. There were 336 players drafted that year, 280 of them after the Lions took Hanson. The draft was cut to eight rounds in 1993 and seven in '94.

45: The number of kickers drafted after Hanson, through the 2012 draft. That includes two who were taken after Hanson in 1992.

4: The number of draft years since 1992 that will have no active players in 2013. No players were active from the 1993-95 draft classes. Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis was the only active 1996 draftee in 2012, and he has retired.

Note: Kicker Adam Vinatieri made the Amsterdam Admirals of the World League in 1995 as an undrafted rookie. He made the Patriots' roster in 1996 and has spent the last seven seasons with the Colts.

3: The number of draft picks the Lions traded to the Cowboys in 1992 for the pick they used to draft Hanson. Dallas got the Lions' third-, fourth- and ninth-round picks.

2: The number of kickers drafted higher than Hanson since 1992. Oakland took Sebastian Janikowski in the first round and 17th overall in 2000. The Jets took Mike Nugent in the second round and 47th overall in 2005. Janikowski has played his entire career in Oakland. Nugent has played for four teams, most recently Cincinnati the last three seasons.

2b: The number of years no kicker was drafted – 1996 and 2010.

0: The number of kickers on last season's two Super Bowl teams who were drafted.

The Ravens signed rookie Justin Tucker of Texas on May 29. He beat out Billy Cundiff for the job in training camp.

The 49ers' David Akers tried out for the Falcons in 1997 as an undrafted free agent out of Louisville. Akers made the Redskins' roster in 1999 and has been in the NFL for good, spending most of his career with Philly, and the last two years in San Francisco.