Oakland Raiders: 10 Best Draft Picks of All Time
Many draft picks have come and gone from Oakland. Some left heartache with the fans, some were big let downs, while others turned out better than we could have ever imagined.
Trying to pick the 10 best Raider draft picks isn't an easy task. What really makes a perfect draft choice? What does a draft pick have to do in his career to be considered great?
An ideal draft pick should achieve the following:
1.) Play and start the majority of their career with one team
2.) Make Pro Bowls and All Pro Teams
3.) Lead team to victories
4.) Accumulate extraordinary stats
5.) Play big in playoff games
6.) Win championships
With this formula and some research, I was able to come up with a list of the best 10 Raider draft picks of all time. Here they are, in no particular order.
This one is just for Kicks, but Al Davis has drafted some of the best kickers in Raider History, and in the year 2000, he had one of his best drafts, kicker-wise.
Sebastian Jankikowski- Drafted in the 1st Round, 17th overall in the 2000 NFL Draft.
Raider from 2000- Present
All Time Leading Scorer in Raider History
61 Go ahead Field Goals
18 Tying Field Goals
61 yard Field Goal longest in Raider History
Shane Lechler - Drafted in the 5th round, 142nd overall pick in the 2000 NFL Draft.
Raider from 2000- Present
5 Probowls, 5 All Pro Teams
Had a Raider all time high punting average of 51.1 yards
Career average is 47.3 yards
Ray Guy - 1st round draft pick, 23rd overall pick in the 1973 Draft.
Raider from 1973-1986
7 Probowls, 3 Time All Pro
Has the most punting yards in Raider history
Considered the best ever at his position
Lester Hayes was a force in the NFL, and will forever be remembered among the Raider Nation. Here is what Hayes did as a Raider.
Drafted in the 5th Round, 126th overall in the 1977 NFL Draft.
Was a Raider from 1977-1986
Played in 149 Games, Started 134 Games
5 Time Pro Bowler
1 All Pro
His 39 INT's have him tied for first All-Time in Raider History, with Willie Brown.
Hayes won 2 Titles as a member of the Oakland Raiders.
Jim Otto went undrafted in the 1959 NFL draft. According to his book, he was drafted by Minneapolis an AFL team. But then Minneapolis dropped the team, because Pete Rozelle offered their state an NFL franchise.
So his draft rights were acquired by the Houston Oilers, who were purchased a couple weeks later by Oakland, becoming the Oakland Raiders.
Therefore, he was never officially drafted by the Raiders, but he played his whole career with the Raiders. So, we will count him as one of our draft picks.
1.) Drafted in 1960 in the 24th round by Minneapolis, which later became the Oakland Raiders
2.) Raider from 1960-1974
3.) Played 210 games, started 98
4.) Member of 12 Pro Bowls, 10 All Pro teams
5.) Played in one Super Bowl
6.) Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1980
Tim Brown will go down as one of the best receivers in Oakland history. The former Heisman Trophy winner from Notre Dame was drafted and showed up to play every week. Though he finished his career in Tampa, he will always be a Raider.
Tim Brown - Drafted in the 1st round, 6th overall pick in 1988
Was a Raider from 1988-2003
Played in 240 games, Started 198
9 Pro Bowls
1,070 receptions, 14734 yards and 99 TD's. All Raider Records
Played in 1 Super Bowl
Art Shell was one of the best lineman the Oakland Raiders have ever drafted. He was a force in the NFL for 14 years. Though his on field talent didn't crossover and help him become a successful head coach in two tenures with the Raiders, his on field play should never be forgotten.
Art Shell - Drafted in the 3rd round, 80th overall in 1968.
He was a Raider from 1968-1982.
He played in 207 games, started 155 games.
8 Probowls, 2 time All-Pro
2 Time Superbowl Champion
Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1989
Ken Stabler was arguably the best QB drafted by the Oakland Raiders. The way he led the team, the memorable plays he delivered when the games mattered most, and his deep ball will keep him cemented as one of the best Raiders draft picks ever.
1.) Drafted in the second round, 52nd overall in 1968
2.) Raider from 1968-1979
3.) Played in 130 games, started 96
4.) Overall 69-26-1 record as starting QB; 7-5 playoff record
5.) Member of four Pro Bowls, one All Pro Team
6.) Engineered 19 fourth quarter comebacks, 26 game winning drives
7.) Recorded 19,078 passing yards, 150 TDs (all Raiders benchmarks)
8.) Champion of 1977 Super Bowl
Cliff Branch will definitely go down as one of the best receivers in Raiders history. Though his numbers today wouldn't be extraordinary, he was a force in his prime. More importantly, he was a member of three championship teams.
1.) Drafted in the fourth round, 98th overall in 1972
2.) Raider from 1972—1985
3.) 183 games played, 136 started
4.) Member of four Pro Bowls, three All Pro Teams
5.) Recorded 501 receptions, 8,685 receiving yards, 67 TDs (all rank third in Raiders history)
6.) Caught longest pass play from scrimmage in Raiders history (99 yards)
7.) Earned three Super Bowl titles
Gene Upshaw was not only a great player on the field, but he also went on to contribute greatly off the field with the NFL Players Union.
Gene Upshaw - Drafted in the 1st round, 17th overall in 1967
Raider from 1967-1981
Played in 217 games, started 207 games
7 Pro Bowls, 5 time All-Pro
2 Time Super Bowl Champion
1987 Hall of Fame Inductee
Marcus Allen will always be remember for his breathtaking run in Super Bowl XVIII. He is the best running back the Raiders have ever drafted, leaving no room to argue on that point.
1.) Drafted in the first round, 10th overall in 1982
2.) Raider from 1982-1992
3.) Played in 145 games, 115 starts
4.) Member of six Pro Bowls, two All Pro Teams
5.) Recorded 8,545 rushing yards, 79 TDs (all Raiders benchmarks)
6.) Super Bowl Champion
7.) Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2003
Fred Biletnikoff was truly an old school Raider. The ball always seemed to stick to his hands whenever it was thrown his way. He was a Raider through and through, and one of Oakland's best overall draft picks.
Fred Biletnikoff - Drafted 11th overall in the 2nd Round of the AFL draft in 1965
Raider from 1965-1978
Played in 190 Games, Started 131 Games
6 Pro Bowls, 2 time All-Pro
589 Receptions, 8,974 receiving yards, 76 TD's. (All rank 2nd in Raider History)
1 Superbowl Title, and Superbowl MVP
1988 Hall of Fame Inductee
Howie Long was a beast with the Raiders. He was the true definition of what being a Raider meant. Long was tough, intense, and brought fear to the opposing team.
1.) Drafted in the second round, 48th overall in 1981
2.) Raider from 1981-1993
3.) Played 179 games, started 152
4.) member of eight Pro Bowls, two All Pro Teams
5.) recorded 84 sacks(most in Raiders history)
6.) Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000
7.) Super Bowl Champion
For More Raiders news and updates follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/RaiderWorldWide