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Raiders countdown to kickoff: 94 is Eddie Vanderdoes, who wore it best?

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Hitting 94 days until the start of the 2017 season, we profile the man donning the number 94 right now for the Raiders.

DL Eddie Vanderdoes

The third round rookie out of UCLA hasn’t had much chance to don his new jersey. Following rookie minicamp, he wasn’t allowed to attend OTA’s due to obligations with finishing school. UCLA works on a quarter system so his finals won’t complete until June 12 at the earliest, and could keep him out the Raiders’ entire offseason program.

Vanderdoes has been busy this offseason cutting weight. The one time 5-star recruit once offered interior pass rush, but saw that dry up following an injury his junior season and his weight subsequently balloon to over 340 pounds last season.

Since the season ended, the Northern California native has vigorously been trying to regain his form, cutting his weight down to as low as 301 pounds. He is said to currently be at 305. The Raiders will have him on a very strict diet and workout regimen to try to keep him on track.

Where he plays on the line (or if he plays much at all) could be largely (so to speak) dependent upon his weight. In shape his best fit would be 3-tech DT or 3-4 DE. He may also be able to step in at nose tackle if the need arose, though that’s not ideal.

He didn’t put up great numbers even at his best, but was at one time considered a late first, early second round prospect. His selection feels a great deal like that of Mario Edwards Jr or Jihad Ward. None of them had great production. Edwards in particular was also at one time a 5-star recruit who lost a lot in college due in part to weight gain. He and Ward also play the same position as Vanderdoes as the team continues to try to find the answer to their interior defensive line issues.

Who wore it best: DE Anthony Smith

Smith was drafted by the Raiders in the first round in 1990. The pass rushing defensive end posted double digit sacks in each of his first three seasons (10.5, 13.0, 12.5). In total, he would play seven seasons in the NFL, all with the Raiders. He appeared in 98 games, finishing with 57.5 career sacks.

He played his last game in 1997. Since then, his legacy has taken a very dark turn. Four years ago he was charged with murder. That case was declared a mistrial due to a hung jury. Since then he was been charged with three additional murders. He was convicted of those murders last year and is now serving three consecutive life sentences.

He wore the number 94 with distinction, which is important to separate from the kind of distinction of which he is now more well known.