We started with numbers 00-24 and now we are on to part two of our series as we count up the greatest Raiders by jersey number. You may notice some truly great players next to the number they made iconic. Not all numbers have greatness attached to them but it just shows you how few people wore that number.
If an incoming Raider player wants to be the greatest to wear a specific number, he need only look at this list to see which number is most easily claimed. But as I mentioned before, the Raiders don't retire jersey numbers so even the most iconic Raider jersey numbers are available to any player who wants them.
And speaking of iconic players and jersey numbers, we start off this portion of the list with one of the greatest to ever play the game...
25 Fred Biletnikoff- One of the first great Raiders and arguably the greatest receiver of his era. He held every Raider receiving record until Tim Brown eclipsed them during the pass happy days of the early 2000's.
26 Vann McElroy- A bit of a forgotten man in the mystique of the Raiders defensive backfield. While Haynes and Hayes were making the headlines, McElroy was quietly making a couple of Pro Bowls of his own. Not to be outdone, he is fourth all-time in interceptions for the Raiders (31). He was also on the team for both of their Super Bowls in the 80's.
27 Frank Hawkins- Played fullback for the Raiders for seven seasons from 81-87. He won two Super Bowls during that time.
28 Clarence Davis- Played every game of his eight year career for the Raiders. He was the speedy change of pace back during the 1977 Super Bowl winning season.
29 Albert Lewis- Finished his long career with the Raiders. After eleven seasons in Kansas City, he joined the Raiders and played five more good seasons starting most of them.
30 Mark Van Eeghen- Raiders second all-time leading rusher. He was the Raiders power rusher in the 70's. Had over 1000 yards to lead the Raiders to their first Super Bowl win.
31 Jack Tatum- Nicknamed "The Assassin" for his brutal hits from the secondary. He has never been inducted into the Hall of Fame despite being the idol of Hall of Fame players such as Ronnie Lott and Rod Woodson.
32 Marcus Allen- The Raiders' all-time leading rusher by a long shot. A Hall of Famer and one of the greatest running backs in NFL history.
33 Kenny King- Acquired in 1980 in a trade with the Houston Oilers, he joined the Raiders and went to the Pro Bowl in his first season. He was the Raiders' primary back the next season and led them to their second Super Bowl win. He would switch to fullback and win one more Super Bowl with the Raiders before retiring after the '85 season.
34 Bo Jackson- The most legendary "if only" player ever. He was a freakish athlete who dominated the game like few others. His career was cut short by a devastating hip injury after just four NFL seasons.
35 Hewritt Dixon- The Raiders converted him to fullback after he had played tight end with the Broncos. It was a great move too because he was named to three straight Pro Bowls and one All-Pro team. The elusive and punishing runner played five seasons with the Raiders and was a Pro Bowler in four of those seasons.
36 Clem Daniels- The first great Raider running back. Joined the team in their second year of existence and played eight years for them. Made the Pro Bowl four straight seasons from 63-66 and was named an All-Pro in 1963 when he ran for 1099 yards. Running for over 1000 yards in those days was a really big deal.
37 Lester Hayes- Another Hall of Fame snub year after year. He and Michael Haynes were the lockdown corner duo for the Raiders in the 80's. Hayes played his entire ten year career for the Raiders, winning two Super Bowls, being named to five straight Pro Bowls and one All Pro.
38 Nick Bell- It is a bit shameful putting a bust second round running back on this list. But that is how it goes sometimes. He played three seasons for the Raiders just barely surpassing 1000 total yards from scrimmage with 7 touchdowns.
39 Willie Hall- Played linebacker for the Raiders for four seasons including the Super Bowl winning season in 1977.
40 Pete Banaszak- Took over for Clem Daniels in 1967 and spent 13 seasons with the Raiders. The Raiders' sixth all-time leading rusher.
41 Phil Villapiano- The firey vocal leader of the Raiders defense in the 70's. He was named to the Pro Bowl four straight seasons from 73-76, winning a Super Bowl that season.
42 Eric Turner- One of the best safeties the Raiders have had in the past 25 years. His life was cut short by intestinal cancer following the '99 season after three seasons with the team.
43 George Atkinson- The first great Raider safety. He was the master of getting in opponents' heads. He played ten seasons for the Raiders from 68-77. Over that time he was named to two Pro Bowls and had 30 interceptions (5th all-time for the Raiders).
44 Marv Hubbard- Played fullback for the Raiders for seven seasons, making three Pro Bowl teams. He left the team in 1975, the season prior to their first Super Bowl win.
45 Mike Harden- Started at strong safety his final two NFL seasons for the Raiders, collecting five interceptions and four fumble recoveries.
46 Todd Christensen- Played ten seasons with the Raiders from 79-88. He was named to the Pro Bowl five straight seasons from 83-87 and was an All-Pro twice. One of the greatest tight ends in NFL history.
47 Tyrone Wheatley- A great find by the Raiders after the Giants gave up on him. He led the Raiders during their dominant years from 99-02.
48 Lionel Washington- A stalwart at the cornerback position for the Raiders from 87-94. He has since become a well respected NFL assistant coach.
49 Mike Siani- It was difficult not to put Carl Weathers in this slot just because he is Apollo Creed and in Predator. But I gotta go with those who did more than warm the bench for the Raiders for a couple seasons. Siani played six seasons at wide receiver for the Raiders putting up respectable numbers. He was on the '77 championship team as well.
Notable omissions bumped by even greater greatness:
26 Skip Thomas- Nicknamed "Dr Death", he was more well-known for his eccentric personality than his play on the field. Though he was on the field often, he only started two full seasons, but in each of those two seasons, he had six interceptions.
26 Napoleon Kaufman- One of the more underrated Raiders. He was a great running back who retired early to pursue the ministry. He currently stands fourth all-time among Raider rushers and has the highest career yards per carry average (4.9) of all of them.
36 Terry McDaniel- Lined up opposite Lionel Washington for many seasons. He started every single game from 91-95. McDaniel played ten seasons for the Raiders, making five straight Pro Bowls from 92-96.
Special thanks to Matthew Sublett for contributing to this list.
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I think Mr. Napoleon McCallum ought to get an honorable mention for #41. He gave it all up for the silver and black...and frankly, who knows what he could have done if he had gotten the chance. I don't just mean the knee, though that image haunts me to this day as the most gruesome thing I ever saw in gridiron. I mean the guy had to split his grabs and his possible stats with Marcus Allen...and it goes without saying that playing second to Allen would eclipse anyone. But seeing what he had done for Navy, if we had ever given him a chance to star... The man ran like a steam train (understandable since to train in Navy he used to run the lenghth of a carrier, against the wind, wearing a parachute! ...to strengthen his legs. Damn)...and once he got going, could he dance...he was an artist. I miss him.
A lot of great players wore #26. Rod Woodson also needs mentioning here. While only with the Raiders for a short while he was instrumental in their Superbowl run in 2001. I was at the game in Denver when he intercepted Griese and took it back 98 yards for the score. That let the air out of that stadium and turned the game and the season around.
I'm glad to see you mentioned Terry McDaniel, although I think he should be top on the list for #36. He was one of the best corners in the NFL during his time and doesn't get nearly enough love when discussing great Raider cornerbacks. He had 34 INTs for the Raiders, putting him behind only Willie Brown and Lester Hayes.
Great read. I do believe however that Bo Jackson's injury was dislocated hip caused by a tackle from behind in a play-off game with Cincinnati Bengals hat required hip replacement. No matter I suppose we lost a great player.
30: Stacey Toran - Was on the verge of multiple Pro Bowl seasons until his tragic accident in 1989. He was a great cover guy and a hard hitter. He was drafted as a corner but the Raiders moved him to strong safety and began predicting big things for him. (Sound familiar Tyvon Branch?) They didn't have to wait long: in the 1985 opener, he returned an interception 76 yards for a touchdown against the New York Jets. By midseason, he had replaced longtime starter Mike Davis. In 1986, he had six sacks and two interceptions and was regarded league-wide as a comer.
@mmunozz88 Tatum was both 31 and 32 in his career. I went with 31 mainly so he wouldn't be bumped by Marcus Allen but also because Tatum is indeed that greatest to wear #31.
@RaiderMadness Very true. I always get the gruesome images of his and Napoleon McCallum's injuries mixed up in my head. Thanks for letting me know. I will make the change.