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O'HARA: A look back at the Lions' extra first-round picks

The Detroit Lions have had an extra first-round draft pick three times in recent seasons, and they acquired talented players with all three picks.

Tight end Brandon Pettigrew (2009) and running backs Jahvid Best (2010) and Kevin Jones (2004) all had highlight moments and made an impact.

Unfortunately, Best and Jones had their careers cut far too short by injuries. Pettigrew also encountered injuries but was able to play a reasonably full career before being forced into early retirement.

The Lions have two first-round picks. Their first pick is No. 2 overall. They also have the No. 32 pick from the trade that sent quarterback Matthew Stafford to the Rams.

Here is a look at the careers of Pettigrew, Best and Jones:

Brandon Pettigrew:

Acquired with the 20th pick in the first round with a pick from the Dallas Cowboys.

Career stats: In seven seasons, Pettigrew played 93 games with 85 starts. He had 301 receptions for 2,965 yards and 17 TDs.

Early in his career Pettigrew was a valuable outlet receiver for then rookie quarterback Mathew Stafford and a solid blocker.

Pettigrew had 243 receptions in his first four seasons. Injuries began to pile up and affected his play. He had only 17 catches combined in his last two seasons.

Highlight moment: Pettigrew was the receiver on Stafford's celebrated touchdown pass vs. the Browns in his rookie season.

Stafford returned to the game after sustaining a shoulder injury on a hit when scrambling to get off a pass.

Initially, backup Daunte Culpepper was sent in for the Lions' last play. After being helped to his feet, Stafford returned to the huddle and connected with Pettigrew to win the game.

Bottom line: Until injuries took a toll, Pettigrew was one of the NFL's top receiving/blocking tight ends. His value was underrated.

Jahvid Best:

Acquired with the 30th pick from a draft-day trade.

Career stats: In 22 games, 945 yards rushing and six TDs, 85 receptions for 774 yards and three TDs.

His career ended because of a concussion sustained in Game 6 of 2011, his second season. Best had a history of concussions from his college days at Cal.

What he brought: Speed, acceleration, good hands and the ability to change direction in a flash, he lived up to what the late Charlie Sanders said in his role as assistant personnel director.

"He's a matchup nightmare," Sanders said in Best's first training camp.

Best made an immediate impact as a rookie. He scored five TDs in his first two games -- four rushing, one receiving.

Highlight moment: The Lions won their first five games of 2011, and Best was the star of a 24-13 win over the Bears in Game 5 at Ford Field.

On Monday Night, the atmosphere was electric. Best rushed for 163 yards and broke the game open with an 88-yard TD run in the third quarter.

Bottom line: Tragically, he sustained a concussion in the next game -- a loss to the 49ers -- and never played again. It cost Best his career, and took away a dynamic player from the Lions' offense.

View photos of the tight end prospects who were invited to the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine.

Kevin Jones:

Acquired in 2004 with the 30th pick from a draft-day trade.

Career stats: In five seasons -- the first four with the Lions -- he played 64 games with 49 starts. All starts were with the Lions.

In four seasons as a Lion, he rushed for 3,067 yards and 24 TDs, with 132 receptions for 1,011 yards and three TDs.

Highlights: Jones rushed for 1,133 yards as a rookie. He was one of the best backs in the NFL the second half of the season.

He had four games of more than 100 yards rushing, with a high of 196 yards.

He followed his rookie season with rushing totals of 664, 689 and 589 yards with 19 rushing TDs in his final three seasons as a Lion.

Bottom line: Jones was a power runner with speed. He had the potential to be a consistent Pro Bowl back, but injuries that hit him after his rookie season lessened his ability and shortened his career.

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