Former Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson was an all-time great, but really wished his professional career followed his college path in Georgia. Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Calvin Johnson hoped Atlanta Falcons would trade up to draft him

Calvin Johnson is arguably the best player the Detroit Lions have had since Barry Sanders but if the receiver had his way, he wouldn't have ended up in Detroit at all. During an interview on former Lions safety Glover Quin's YouTube show "The DB Room," Johnson revealed that he was hoping that the Falcons would trade up and grab him.

"Sitting there leading up to the draft, I am like shoot — boy I hope I go to Atlanta," Johnson said. Played my high school ball, played my college ball right here, and then playing in the NFL right here. That would be the best little thing ever. Atlanta got No. 7 — I might not be there. I hope they trade up to get me. I didn't honestly want to go to Oakland. Didn't want to go across the country. Didn't want to go to Detroit. So far north. That's the thing about the NFL, nobody has control over really where you're going unless you're Eli Manning."

Johnson's desire to play in Atlanta makes sense, as he was raised in Georgia and attended Georgia Tech for three years before joining the NFL. However, the trade never came to fruition and Johnson ended up playing his entire career in Detroit.

Johnson was perhaps the most dominant receiver in the league during his nine seasons, making six Pro Bowls, three first-team All-Pro teams and leading the NFL in receiving yards twice. Sadly, his relationship with the team soured by the end of his career (which many believe ended as a result of this bad relationship), and he has said he has no plans to associate with the Lions in the future.

Blake Harper is a writer based in New York. He's originally from San Diego and is one of the few Chargers fans left. He doesn't believe in ties and loves elaborate celebrations. Follow him on Twitter @beezyharps 



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MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Can you name the receiving yardage leader for every NFL season in the Super Bowl Era?
SCORE:
0/54
TIME:
8:00
1966 - 1,266
Pat Studstill
1967 - 1,265
Ben Hawkins
1968 - 1,074
Roy Jefferson
1969 - 1,116
Harold Jackson
1970 - 1,100
Gene Washington
1971 - 1,110
Otis Taylor
1972 - 1,048
Harold Jackson
1973 - 1,116
Harold Carmichael
1974 - 1,092
Cliff Branch
1975 - 1,063
Ken Burrough
1976 - 1,112
Roger Carr
1977 - 870
Drew Pearson
1978 - 1,169
Wesley Walker
1979 - 1,237
Steve Largent
1980 - 1,340
John Jefferson
1981 - 1,358
Alfred Jenkins
1982 - 1,032
Wes Chandler
1983 - 1,409
Mike Quick
1984 - 1,555
Roy Green
1985 - 1,287
Steve Largent
1986 - 1,570
Jerry Rice
1987 - 1,117
J. T. Smith
1988 - 1,414
Henry Ellard
1989 - 1,483
Jerry Rice
1990 - 1,502
Jerry Rice
1991 - 1,523
Michael Irvin
1992 - 1,461
Sterling Sharpe
1993 - 1,503
Jerry Rice
1994 - 1,499
Jerry Rice
1995 - 1,848
Jerry Rice
1996 - 1,338
Isaac Bruce
1997 - 1,584
Rob Moore
1998 - 1,424
Antonio Freeman
1999 - 1,663
Marvin Harrison
2000 - 1,635
Torry Holt
2001 - 1,598
David Boston
2002 - 1,722
Marvin Harrison
2003 - 1,696
Torry Holt
2004 - 1,405
Muhsin Muhammad
2005 - 1,563
Steve Smith
2006 - 1,369
Chad Johnson
2007 - 1,510
Reggie Wayne
2008 - 1,575
Andre Johnson
2009 - 1,569
Andre Johnson
2010 - 1,448
Brandon Lloyd
2011 - 1,681
Calvin Johnson
2012 - 1,964
Calvin Johnson
2013 - 1,646
Josh Gordon
2014 - 1,698
Antonio Brown
2015 - 1,871
Julio Jones
2016 - 1,448
T.Y. Hilton
2017 - 1,533
Antonio Brown
2018 - 1,677
Julio Jones
2019 - 1,725
Michael Thomas

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