We now reach the final quarter of out countdown which started at 99. Just 25 days remain until the Raiders 2015 season opener. To mark it, we note the best to ever suit up for the Raiders who also happened to wear the number 25.
Who wore it best: WR Fred Biletnikoff (1965-78)
The man so legendary the award for college football's top wide receiver bears his name. The Raiders drafted him in the second round of the 1965 draft and he spent his entire 14-year career in Oakland. In that time he was a 6-time Pro Bowler and 2-time All AFL performer.
His first Pro Bowl season came in 1967 in Daryle Lamonica's first year at quarterback in Oakland. That season the Raiders made it to Super Bowl II where they would lose to the Packers. the following year, the Raiders would be in the Playoffs again and in two playoff games, Biletnikoff had 14 catches for 370 yards and 4 touchdowns.
In the famous "Sea of Hands" game against the Dolphins in 1974, Biletnikoff caught 8 passes for 122 yards. The second shot Freddy B would have at a Super Bowl title came in 1976 and this time they would seize it. when he was named Super Bowl MVP and the Raiders took home their first Super Bowl title in franchise history.
Biletnikoff finished with 8974 receiving yards and 76 touchdowns which were both franchise records until Tim Brown came along and broke them. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1988.
Who's wearing it now: CB D.J. Hayden
Chosen in the first round of the 2013 draft, Hayden has played in 18 games in two seasons. He suffered a life threatening heart injury his senior season at Houston which required major surgery. He recovered from it in time for draft workouts and was chosen at 12 overall by the Raiders. That offseason he would require a second surgery to remove scar tissue from his abdomen as a result of the first surgery. This cause him to practice in a red non-contact jersey through most of training camp and his NFL career got off to a slow start. Midway through his rookie season, he would suffer a knee injury that would place him on injured reserve.
Just as he looked to be recovered from the knee injury, he suffered a foot injury that lingered and ended up having him place on the PUP list the begin last season. He returned by week 8 and finished out the season showing some flashes of the potential that had him drafted so high.
He came into this offseason as a projected starter once again and is currently in a battle with second year corner, Keith McGill to start alongside T.J. Carrie.