The Detroit Lions selected Joe Schmidt from the University of Pittsburgh in the seventh round of the 1953 NFL Draft.
It didn't take long for Schmidt to establish himself as the defensive leader of the Lions.
Joe Schmidt developed into an exceptional field leader with a natural talent to diagnose foe's plays.
Later in his career, he was the team's field captain for nine straight seasons.
Joe Schmidt gained a reputations as a deadly tackler.
He was fast enough to evade a 250-pound guard, to follow a play along the line or to drop back to cover a pass.
Schmidt possessed great strength allowing him to plow past a blocker and make the play.
Schmidt was voted to the All-NFL team 10 times and was elected to 10 straight Pro Bowls (1955-1964). His teammates voted him their Most Valuable Player four times.
Joe Schmidt recorded 24 INTs during his career and recovered 17 fumbles.
Joe Schmidt was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1972.
Joe Schmidt delivers his enshrinement speech from the front steps of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Joe Schmidt wore this helmet during his Hall of Fame career. It is now a part of our permanent collection.
Joe Schmidt's Hall of Fame mural.
Joe Schmidt's Hall of Fame bust.
Joe (right) also served as the Lions head coach from 1967-1972.
Joe Schmidt pauses to pose for a photo during an Enshrinent Festival autograph session in 2003.