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Raiders Countdown to Kickoff: 86: Who wore it best, who's wearing it now

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

With 86 days left until the kickoff of the Raiders 2015 season, we lay out the best to wear the number 86 as well as the player who currently wears it. For the best ever to wear it, we take a break from our regularly scheduled receivers, and insert a defensive player. That's right, a position other than wide receiver or tight end who wore the number 86.

Who wore it best: LB  Gerald Irons

Aside from having a badass name, Irons fit that name for four seasons from 1972 to 1975. In that time he started every single game for the Raiders. Originally a third round pick in the 1970 draft, he spent a total of six seasons in Oakland. After those six seasons, he moved on to play for the Browns for four seasons, also not missing a start of his first three seasons there.

Back then, sacks and tackles were not an official statistic so we don't know what kind of numbers he put up in those areas. Though he did have seven interceptions in those four seasons as the full time starter. He started a total of 56 regular season games and appeared in nine playoff games, seven as a starter. Unfortunately for him, he never saw the team finally break through to win the Super Bowl. That happened the season after he left for Cleveland.

Gerald's son Grant also played with the Raiders, appearing in 41 games over four seasons from 2003-06.

Who's wearing it now: TE  Lee Smith

Smith is considered one of the better blocking tight ends in the NFL and for that reason, he received a pretty good contract from the Raiders on the first day of free agency. He is expected to see the field a lot this season as new offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave is known for two tight end sets and running the football. Blocking tight end is an unheralded job in the NFL, but a very necessary one to be certain.