In this Sunday edition of 100 Days, 100 Detroit Lions, we pay tribute to a dominant defensive back and kick returner who helped the Lions rise to NFL dominance in the early 1950s.
45. Don Doll
Defensive Back / Halfback. 1949-52 Detroit; 1953 Washington Redskins; 1954 Los Angeles Rams
To call Don Doll a defensive ballhawk would be an understatement. During his six-year career, he would intercept 41 passes. Don came to the Lions as a ninth-round draft choice out of the University of Southern California in 1949. He would intercept a Lion record 11 passes as a rookie, returning them for a total of 301 yards (27.1 avg.) and 1 touchdown. The yardage total remains, to this day, a single-season Lion record. Doll would follow his rookie season up by breaking his year-old interception record with 12 more picks during his sophomore campaign. His 12 interceptions remains the Lions’ single-season record. It’s a mark which he shares with teammate Jack Christiansen, who equaled Don’s total in 1953.
Doll moved onto the Washington Redskins in 1953, where he had another double-digit interception season with 10. He then moved back to his home state to play his final pro season with the Rams. During his career, he would play in four Pro Bowls, three as a Lion (1951-53), and one with Washington (1954).