The 2012 Lions are 1-0 and WaketheHerd.com is at #91 in our 100 Days, 100 Detroit Lions countdown. Today we honor another of the great Lions from the 1960s.
91. Tom Vaughn
Defensive Back. 1965-71 Detroit
A solid defender and a great special teamer, Vaughn was selected by the Lions in the fifth-round of the 1965 draft out of Iowa State. As a rookie returner, he would gain 366 combined-yards on only 15 touches (24.4 avg.). In his second-season, he would lead Detroit in both punt returns (18 for 179 yards – 9.9 avg.), and kickoff returns (23 for 595 yards – 25.9 avg.). In 1967 he would move become the Lions’ starting strong safety, and hold that spot for the rest of his Lion career. Playing with fellow secondary-men Lem Barney, Dick LeBeau, and Mike Weger, Vaughn would help form one of the NFL’s best pass defenses during the period.
Vaughn would finish his Lion career in 1971 with 9 career interceptions. He ranks eighth in Lions’ history for career kickoff return yards with 1,595 on 62 attempts. His 25.8 career per-return average in that same category is second only to Terry Fair in franchise history. He would also rank in the top ten all-time in punt return average (9.0 avg.) if not for him missing the minimum 50 return cutoff (He had 33 career returns).