In this Saturday edition of 100 Days, 100 Detroit Lions, we honor the best Lions’ offensive lineman of the 1980s. An All-Pro who came to the Lions in 1979 out of Penn State.
66. Keith Dorney
Offensive Tackle / Guard. 1979-87 Detroit
The Lions’ number-one choice in the 1979 draft, Dorney was one of the few bright spots on that year’s 2-14 squad. He earned a spot on the NFL’s All-Rookie team that season, and would play at an elite level throughout the rest of his career. Lion head coach Monte Clark had high praise for Dorney after his freshman season: “Nothing was too tricky for him. We never had to tell him anything twice. He blasted out like a veteran pro. He hits like a truck. He could sustain a block and give pass protection. What else could we want?”
The 6-foot-5, 265 pound Dorney was hell for opposing defenders. Keith played with a intensity that was obvious to all who watched him. He was at his best when allowed to pull-out and lead interference on trap plays, where he could get his big frame rolling into overmatched linebackers and defensive backs.
Dorney would be named to the Pro Bowl after the 1982 season, and would share the Lions’ Offensive MVP award with James Jones in 1986. A serious neck-injury after the fifth game of the 1987 season would force the still dominant Dorney to into retirement.