Best Raiders Players: Top 5 Las Vegas Athletes, According To Sports Experts

Hut, hut, hike! The best players to ever wear a Raiders uniform possess skill, dedication, and passion for the game. From the defensive showstoppers that stand their ground to the offensive player makers that have won championships, the best Raider players have had a significant impact on the success, influence, and expansion of the Raiders organization. These players have not only left a lasting legacy on the field but have also become icons in the football world.

And for many Americans, this is an important issue. Why is that? Because a new study found that, on average, NFL fans spend 46 hours per month thinking about their favorite NFL teams. That’s a lot of time. But time isn’t the only factor at play here. For instance, people often shift their commitments, with 35 percent of people canceling dinner plans and 20 percent admitting to ditching dates for the game instead. The survey also revealed that fans travel an average of 296 miles to catch an away game, but they’ll go even farther should their team make the playoffs. Out of the 2,000 fans who participated in the study, four in ten are true die-hards; they don’t miss a single minute of a game during the regular season.

Fortunately for us, our unwavering loyalty and love for the game aren’t something to be ashamed of. And while not all of us can be gridiron greats like some of the most iconic Raider players, our pride and passion can still allow us to connect with the football legends of our time. For example, in a recent study, you may be surprised to learn that kids born in the first quarter of the year have a higher chance of making it to the pros. How can this be? Well, according to findings, NFL players born during the first quarter are more inclined to generate developmental advantages that come from playing relatively older players from childhood and adolescence.

All the same, when both teams line up and the crisp autumn air sets on Allegiant Stadium, the roar of Raider Nation can be felt from deep within. For a path of glory and greatness, follow us as we cover the best Raider players to ever play the game. Don’t see your favorite player? Tell us more in the comments below! 

Raiders fan (Photo by Anelale Nájera on Unsplash)

The List: Best Raider Players, According to Sports Fans

1. Jim Otto 

Also known as the Iron Man of the NFL, Jim Otto is one of the best Raider players of all time. His durability and toughness were as legendary as his career as a center. As Review-Journal cites, “Jim Otto is one of the toughest players in team history.” He had “undergone 28 knee surgeries.”

Otto is one of the greatest players to wear the silver and black. His career with the Raiders spanned 15 years until his body eventually broke down. Last Word On Sports says, “Jim Otto was one of the best centers of all time, and his dominance for the Raiders between 1960 and 1974 is not to be forgotten.” In addition to a long career with the Raiders, Otto is in the Hall of Fame and was “an All-Pro member for all but one of his fifteen seasons!” 

To this day, Otto’s number 00 is dear to the heart and soul of Raider Nation. To add to that, he was an All-Pro center 10 times and played in 12 Pro Bowls. Perhaps even more impressive would be how “Otto did not miss a single game as their starting center for 15 consecutive seasons,” writes Bleacher Report. That is a total of “210 regular-season starts and 308 overall.” During each of his seasons, “Otto was elected to the AFL All-Star game,” which continued to showcase his incredible toughness. 

2. Tim Brown

Tim’s superior skillset as a wide receiver casts him among the best Raider players of all time. His tenure with the Raiders lasted an astounding 16 years, and he is best remembered for his record-breaking performances, as he holds the franchise record for the most receiving yards, receptions, and total touchdowns. The Grueling Truth says, “For the first several years of his career, Tim Brown was the team’s dangerous punt returner, but by 1993, he was catching around 80 passes a year and transforming the passing game.” Between the “1990s and 2000s, he was one of the most consistent receivers” and in 2015, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame. 

Tim Brown’s versatility and playmaking ability were legendary. As one of the greatest assets for the Raiders, Brown not only played receiver but was also a significant threat on punt returns. As Raider Ramble writes, “He was a first-round draft pick in 1988 and quickly established himself as a force to be reckoned with.” Interestingly, he is the “oldest player in the history of the league to return a punt for a touchdown,” and “he played in 224 games over the course of his career.” 

To this day, Tim Brown’s legacy continues to extend beyond the field. As a nine-time Pro Bowler, he’s been involved in various charitable organizations and continues to cast a presence as one of the greats in the game. “During this time, Brown amassed over 1,000 receiving yards over nine seasons,” says Rookie Road. Furthermore, he was “named to two Second-Team All-Pro lists, nine Pro Bowls, and the NFL’s All-Decade team for the 1990s.” 

3. Gene Upshaw

Few Raider players have been such a dominant force in the trenches as Gene Upshaw. On and off the field, Upshaw’s value to the Raiders organization cannot be stressed enough. The Grueling Truth explains how “Upshaw started in the 1960s, playing well into the 1980s to become one of the best left guards in the league.” In terms of NFL history, “Upshaw was the leader of probably the finest offensive line and helped the Raiders to their first two Super Bowl wins before retiring.” To cap off his career, “he was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1987.” 

Leaving a legacy of excellence, Gene Upshaw became known as The Soul Patrol. He spent his entire 15-year NFL career with the Raiders and showed unmatched loyalty and dedication to his team. Fan-Insider writes, “Upshaw made 11 All-Pro/All-AFL teams as well as seven Pro Bowls/AFL All-Star games during his career.” He has played “the third most Raiders games in the history of the organization” and “he’s a member of the NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time Team.” 

Gene is known for his consistency and excellence on the field. He was instrumental in the Raiders offensive dominance between the 1970s and 1980s and became president of the NFL Players Association upon retiring. How They Play claims, “Gene Upshaw is arguably the best left guard to ever play in the league.” More so, “he is the first player in NFL history to play in a Super Bowl in three different decades” and is “part of one of the greatest offensive lines in NFL history.”

4. Willie Brown

A shut-down cornerback, Willie Brown is an all-time Raider great. With impeccable coverage skills and killer ball-hawking instincts, Brown’s impressive prowess makes him a defensive legend. As Rookie Road relays, “Willie played cornerback for the Raiders between 1967 and 1978.” During his time as a Raider, “he found some of the best years of his career” after being “named a First-Team All-Pro in 1971 and 1973, along with four consecutive Pro Bowl appearances.” Over his career, “Brown tallied 54 interceptions and two touchdowns.” 

Willie Brown played an incremental role in helping the Raiders win their first Super Bowl. The memorable interception that he returned for a touchdown in Super Bowl XI continues to be one of the most celebrated moments in the team’s history. As The Grueling Truth writes, “Willie Brown doesn’t get the recognition he deserves for creating the bump and run coverage.” His defensive innovation and mentorship “helped players like Mike Haynes and Lester Hayes improve coverage” while he was “elected to the Hall of Fame in 1984.” 

With four Pro Bowls and AFL All-Star Selections, Willie Brown’s status as one of the greatest NFL cornerbacks cannot be denied. He is the epitome of a clutch player. And even though “Willie Brown played the first three years of his career with the Denver Broncos, it is his time as a Raider that he is most known for, and rightfully so,” says Clutch Points. When Brown finished his career, “he was ranked 19th all-time in the NFL with 54 career picks,” with “39 of those interceptions coming from him in a Raiders uniform.”

5. Marcus Allen

Marcus Allen is arguably one of the best Raiders players in history. As a running back extraordinaire, Allen’s tenure with the Raiders was full of record-breaking success. As Fan-Insider puts it, “Allen sits at the top of every rushing category in Raiders history and is one of the all-time great Raiders.” Let’s also not forget that “Allen was the 1985 NFL MVP, Rookie of the Year, and Super Bowl MVP.” To add, “Allen made two All-Pro first teams, as well as five Pro Bowls with the Raiders.” 

Beyond the accolades, Marcus is renowned for his leadership and football brilliance. From guiding the Raiders to much-needed victories to being enshrined in the Hall of Fame, his legacy lives on in all of us at Raider Nation. “As a first-round pick in 1982, Marcus Allen rushed for 697 yards in his rookie season,” mentions How They Play. Perhaps, though, “he is best remembered for his heroics in Super Bowl XVIII as he ran for 191 yards, caught two passes for 18 yards, and scored two touchdowns,” paving the way for the “Raiders to defeat Washington thirty-eight to nine.” 

With play-making abilities capable of shifting the outcome of any game, no quarterback was safe when Marcus Allen was on the field. His game-changing nature helped lead the Raiders to a Super Bowl victory, and his legacy as one of the Raiders all-time greats lives on. As Clutch Point says, “Marcus Allen was the real deal and was extremely awesome for the Raiders in his career.” He had seven seasons “of double-digit total touchdowns,” and “his NFL career as a whole was phenomenal.”

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