The Detroit Lions have a rough history at the quarterback position. Things aren't so bleak now, as the Lions now employ Jared Goff who is proving to be one of the best in franchise history at the position - though the bar is rather low.

Of course, the Lions have been snake-bitten in a great many ways since Bobby Layne allegedly cursed the franchise on his way out back in 1958. The curse was supposedly lifted when Detroit selected Matthew Stafford first overall in the 2009 NFL Draft a season after going 0-16.

2009 NFL Draft
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While Stafford may be a future Hall of Famer, he isn't one yet - and his tenure with the Los Angeles Rams is what will likely be what puts him in someday, all things being equal. Stafford is one of just 10 quarterbacks the team has ever taken in the first round, and while he is far and away the best quarterback to ever play for the franchise, he isn't the subject of today's article.

Well, what about the quarterbacks that have played for the Lions that are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Bobby Layne and Dutch Clark?

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Well, Layne wasn't drafted by the Lions. He was a first-round pick by the Chicago Bears in 1948, third overall out of Texas. But Layne didn't join the Lions until 1950.

As for Clark, while he did throw the ball, the first great player in Lions history played all over the field and wasn't strictly a quarterback. Clark began his career in 1931, the second season of the Portsmouth Spartans which later became the Detroit Lions in 1934. Clark played his entire seven-year career with the franchise, had his No. 7 retired and entered the Hall of Fame in 1963. However, he wasn't drafted by the Lions or the Spartans. He wasn't drafted at all, as the inaugural NFL Draft wasn't held until 1936.

While Detroit didn't draft Layne or Clark, in the history of the Lions franchise, the team has selected 42 quarterbacks in the NFL Draft, but only two are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and neither played a single down for Detroit.

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We'll start with the second Hall of Fame quarterback selected by the Lions - the legendary Y.A. Tittle. Tittle was one of the league's first scrambling quarterbacks and one of its first great arms as well. He made his name with the San Francisco 49ers and New York Giants, playing 17 years and retiring with nearly every conceivable NFL passing record in his possession.

Portrait Of Y.A. Tittle Holding Football
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In 1948, the Lions drafted Tittle with the 6th overall pick in the NFL Draft. However, for reasons not fully known, Tittle opted to play for the Baltimore Colts in the All-America Football Conference playing two seasons with the franchise before it joined the NFL and folded. This allowed Tittle to be drafted again by the San Fransisco 49ers 3rd overall in the 1951 NFL Draft.

Ironically, Tittle was on the losing end of the Lions' only road postseason win when Detroit defeated Tittle's 49ers in San Francisco 31-27 in 1957 before going on to beat the Cleveland Browns for the NFL Championship.

Speaking of the Cleveland Browns, that brings us to the other Hall of Fame quarterback the Detroit Lions drafted, Otto Graham.

Yes, the player with whom the Lions traded many NFL Championship moments throughout the 1950s was first drafted by the Detroit franchise before becoming a legend in Cleveland.

Before Graham took over the helm of the new Cleveland Browns in 1946 and appeared in 10 straight NFL Championship games, Graham was drafted fourth overall in the 1944 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions. However, his Navy service in World War II prevented him from ever signing a contract with Detroit - and besides, Paul Brown had already decided that he was going to invest an extraordinary amount of money in Graham to be the quarterback of his new team.

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Graham and the Browns won five straight NFL Championships as his career and the birth of the Browns franchise began at the same time. In 1951, the Browns lost their first championship game to the Los Angeles Rams. In the following two seasons, the Browns lost to the Detroit Lions. In 1954, Graham got a win back over the Lions before getting one back on the Rams the following year.

It's certainly fortunate for the Lions that they too had one of the best quarterbacks in the league during this era of emerging passers. Missing out on Tittle and Graham would be heartbreaking if not for Layne's own prowess. It's remarkable, though, that the Lions drafted two of the best quarterbacks the league ever saw before the NFL-AFL merger. Though, again, it does seem very much like the Lions to draft Hall of Fame quarterbacks and never see them play a down of football for them.

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