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Raiders countdown to kickoff: 78 is Justin Ellis, who wore it best?

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While the world is still reeling about the new blockbuster contract Derek Carr received from the Raiders, at 78 in our countdown we profile one of the other finds in that 2014 draft.

DT Justin Ellis

Big ‘Jelly’ was one of the Raiders’ fourth round picks in that great 2014 draft which yielded the likes of Khalil Mack, Derek Carr, and Gabe Jackson in the first three rounds just before Ellis.

This big nose tackle played well enough right away to earn a spot on the All Rookie team. Though he has never been able to cement himself as more than a rotational player he has started 27 out of 44 games in which he appeared in his three years in Oakland.

Last season, he entered camp as the starter over incumbent, Dan Williams. He held onto that starting job throughout camp, but once the season came around, he would start just 4 games. His 21 combined tackles was right at his career average. He offers little to nothing in the way of interior pass rush, having zero career sacks. He is purely there to clog run lanes; something he does with moderate proficiency.

Who wore it best: OT Art Shell (1968-82)

One of the greatest offensive tackles in the history of the NFL. He went to 7 straight Pro Bowls from 72-78 (8 total) and was named All Pro twice. With Shell at left tackle for the Raiders, the defense had little chance of getting near the quarterback.

Originally a third round pick in the 1968 draft, Shell took over as the fulltime starter in 1970 and held down the left tackle position for the next 12 years. In that time the Raiders won two Super Bowls with, first with Shell protecting for Ken Stabler and later for Jim Plunkett.

He retired in 1982, got into the Hall of Fame in 1989 in his second year of eligibility, and took over as Raiders head coach that same year. He spent six years as the Raiders head coach, with a winning record in all but one season (7-9) and an overall record of 54-38.