The Las Vegas Raiders are considered to be the bad boys of the NFL. Over the course of 54 seasons, the Raiders have achieved considerable success, racking up numerous trophies. They have appeared in five Super Bowls and won three times. They have also won 15 division titles since 1960, as well as an AFL championship and the aforementioned Super Bowls. For the best Super Bowl odds, visit FanDuel. Otherwise, continue reading to find out the seven best Las Vegas players in NFL history.
Top Raiders Of All Time – No. 1: Jim Otto
Jim Otto is undoubtedly one of the best centers ever to play football. For 15 years, he never missed a game due to injury and was one of 20 players who played for ten years within the American Football League. He has truly given his all for his franchise and pushed his body massively throughout his NFL career. He is a 12-time Pro Bowler and 13-time All-Pro player who is best remembered for being one of the only team members to wear ’00’ during his football career. This infamous career led to his being voted into the Hall of Fame in 1980.
Top Raiders Of All Time – No. 2: Gene Upshaw
Gene Upshaw has definitely made an impact for the Raiders and the league as a whole. He is undoubtedly one of the best left guards to ever play football. Upshaw is also the first player in the history of the league to play in the Super Bowl over the past three decades. He was a member of the greatest offensive line in the history of the game and paved the way for his time to have the best running game during the 1970s, providing his quarterbacks with plenty of time to find receivers.
After being a six-time Pro Bowler, a seven-time All-Pro, and winning the Super Bowl on two occasions, he was voted into the Hall of Fame as a sporting champion. He also became president of the NFL Players Association after retiring from the game.
Top Raiders Of All Time – No. 3: Fred Biletnikoff
Fred’s hands are among some of the best ever seen in the history of the NFL. He played 14 seasons, and his statistics speak for themselves. He also played the majority of his career at a time when his team placed an emphasis on running as opposed to passing. Biletnikoff was voted the Super Bowl XI MVP after setting up numerous touchdowns. He also managed to finish his NFL career with 589 receptions, having also received 9000 yards and 76 touchdowns. The combination of Fred Biletnikoff and Ken Stabler was the best duo that the league has ever seen.
Top Raiders Of All Time – No. 4: Art Shell
Art Shell is undoubtedly one of the most domineering offensive players to ever play in the NFL. He was a third-round pick for the Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders in 1968 and performed brilliantly on the special teams for two seasons in a row prior to starting as an offensive left tackle within his third campaign. Within a relatively short period of time, he became world-renowned as one of the best linemen to play in the NFL. He was also brilliant as a pass protector and managed to block numerous running plays. He also destroyed Jim Marshall in Super Bowl XI, making it impossible for Marshall to do anything important in the game.
Top Raiders Of All Time – No. 5: Willie Brown
Willie Brown is a lifelong Raider who was traded to the team in 1967. He quickly developed into one of the league’s main shutdown corners. Brown also served as a defensive captain for 10 years with the Raiders. He has been named to four NFL Pro Bowls and five AFL All-Star Games. Arguably, his most memorable moment as a player happened during Super Bowl XI, when he beautifully incepted a pass before returning it 75 yards for a historical touchdown! He retired from the Raiders in 1978 and is well known to be their all-time leading interceptor. He was also inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1984.
Top Raiders Of All Time – No. 6: Ken Stabler
Ken “The Snake” Stabler is well known for being one of the best clutch quarterbacks to ever touch a football. He is well known for his distinctively accurate passes and unbeatable ability to lead late while coming from behind on drives. During his peak, he had a receiving corps that consisted of receivers Cliff Branch, Dave Casper, and Fred Biletnikoff, and while he lacked arm strength, he was incredible at long passes. He also maintained the utmost accuracy during intermediate routes to the aforementioned players. He was named player of the year in 1974 and 1976, as well as the passing champion of the NFL in 1976.
Top Raiders Of All Time – No. 7: Tim Brown
While he may not have had the attitude of most Raider players, he is definitely well-ranked as one of the best receivers to touch a football. He was a first-round draft pick in 1988 and quickly established himself as a force to be reckoned with. Brown is also the oldest player in the history of the league to return a punt for a touchdown. He is among the Raiders’ all-time stars in games played with 224. He also accumulated over 1,000 receptions during his career, covered nearly 15,000 receiving yards, and scored 105 touchdowns. Although Brown was heavily criticized for poor performances during playoff matches, he was still a nine-time Pro Bowler and the first wide receiver in the history of the league to win the Heisman Trophy.
To conclude, this article has outlined the seven best players to play for the Raiders. While the history of the NFL is undoubtedly vast, these players stand out due to their numerous accolades while playing for the Raiders. They have a wide range of skills that have undoubtedly propelled the Raiders to numerous wins across different tournaments. All of these players have covered numerous yards during their careers, and they are still widely respected by Raiders fans worldwide. I hope that you have found this article to be insightful and informative. Thank you for reading.
*Top Photo: Sports Illustrated/Raiders