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Raiders countdown to kickoff: 80 is KJ Brent, who wore it best?

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We have reached a nice round number until the Raiders open the 2017 season — 80 days. That also means it’s the last time we will profile a receiver for a good long time. Let’s look at who’s wearing the number 80 for the Raiders these days, following by a legendary number 80.

WR KJ Brent

Coming to the Raiders as an undrafted free agent in 2016, Brent impressed enough in camp to stick around on the team’s practice squad last season. With good size at 6-3, 200 pounds, Brent hopes to make the team in place of the departed Andre Holmes.

In order to do so, Brent would have to continue to show he can be a red zone target as well as be a standout special teamer. Holmes never quite developed into 50/50, jump ball receiver the Raiders hopes he would, but he far surpassed their hopes as a special teamer.

Brent not only wears the same number as Rod Streater used to don, but his route to the Pros is similar. Both went undrafted due to a lack of stats at the college level. Streater had a total of 49 catches in two seasons at Temple and Brent put up 51 catches over the past two seasons at South Carolina and Wake Forest.

For Streater’s part, he joined the Raiders right when the new regime was purging players in order to rebuild, so the competition for a roster spot was not stellar. These days the Raiders have two 1000-yard starters right off the top and what looks like could be one receiver spot open. Brent will have to show up again and likely show progress from his rookie camp in order to take that spot.

Who wore it best: WR Jerry Rice (2001-04)

Though he spent just over three seasons with the Raiders at the end of his career, they were great years. He arrived in 2001 and immediately put up 1139 yards receiving and 9 touchdowns. The following season he had his best numbers since his All Pro 1996 season and in doing so he helped the Raiders reach the Super Bowl.

Rice is widely regarded as the greatest football player of all time, being named All Pro 10 of 11 seasons from 1986 to 1996. He added just the threat the Raiders needed opposite Tim Brown to get them over the hump to become one of the best teams in football for two seasons.

Rich Gannon had the best years of his career throwing to the Hall of Fame duo of Rice and Brown, including being named NFL MVP in that 2002 season. Rice also made his first trip to the Pro Bowl in five years that season - at the age of 40.