In today’s edition of 100 Days, 100 Detroit Lions, we honor a offensive star, who was a college teammate of Alex Karras and a fellow 1958 draftee of the Lions, who became the best tight end in Lions’ history not named Charlie Sanders.
55. Jim Gibbons
Offensive End / Tight End. 1958-68 Detroit
Jim Gibbons, a college teammate of Alex Karras at Iowa, came along with the Mad Duck to Detroit as part of the Lions’ 1958 amateur draft. The 6-foot-2, 220 pound end would become one of the Lions’ best offensive stars during the next decade. He would earn Pro Bowl honors three-times during his career, after the 1960, ‘61, and ‘64 seasons. He had a career year in 1964, earning Lion MVP honors, catching 45 passes, for 605 yards and 8 touchdowns.
Gibbons still places eighth on the team’s all-time list in career receptions with 287. He also still holds down ninth place in career yards with 3,561 during his 11-year career. In addition, he would compile 20 touchdown receptions, and an amazingly low total of 2 fumbles. Gibbons’ career highlight may have come during the legendary 1960 game versus the Colts in Baltimore. He rumbled across the goal line to score on a 65-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Earl Morrall as time expired. It was the game’s third lead-change in the last 15 seconds of play, and gave the Lions the 20-15 victory.