100 Days, 100 Detroit Lions: #56 Thurman McGraw

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This edition of 100 Days, 100 Detroit Lions honors a defensive stalwart who helped anchor a punishing and stingy Lions’ defense that won back-to-back NFL titles in 1952 and 1953.

56. Thurman McGraw

Defensive Tackle / Offensive Tackle. 1950-54 Detroit

One of the unsung heroes during the early part of the Lions’ fifties dynasty was the man whom teammates referred to as “Fum”. Thurman McGraw was the Lions’ second-round draft choice in 1950 out of Colorado A&M (Colorado State), where he was a college teammate of future Lions Jack Christiansen and Jim David. Fum stood a towering 6-foot-5, and weighed 235 pounds. In Detroit, he would play alongside legendary middle guard Les Bingaman in Detroit’s five-man defensive line.

McGraw’s size was coupled with tremendous strength, which gave opposing offensive lineman assigned to contain him a daunting task. Fum would intercept two-passes during his career. One has to wonder what his sack and passes-knocked-down totals would have been if those statistics had been kept during that era. McGraw would earn Pro Bowl honors after his rookie season, and be named to All-Pro squads in 1952 and 1953.

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