Raiders rookies, first year players, and quarterbacks wrap up their pre-camp warmup today in Napa. Pretty soon the rest of the team will arrive, but for one last day, it’s the rookies who have a greater share of the spotlight. One such rookie is wearing today’s countdown number 46.
LB LaTroy Lewis
Lewis was one of a handful of undrafted rookies who earned a spot on the team in tryouts during rookie minicamp. He hails from Reggie McKenzie’s alma mater, Tennessee, where Lewis started in just 10 games over four years.
It can be hard to get the attention of scouts when you start that few games, so he had to get his foot in the door and make an impression once he was in. He’s done that so far.
the 6-3, 254-pounder bounced around between linebacker and defensive line while with the Volunteers. He’s kind of a jack of many trades, master of none. His athleticism doesn’t jump out, whether it be speed (4.85), leaping ability (32” vertical) or agility (7.48 3-cone). None of those results would put him among the top performers at the combine.
He’s just got to try and get in where he fits in. For a guy like him, it’s all about special teams.
Who wore it best: TE Todd Christensen
One of the greatest tight ends in NFL history. The Raiders were actually his third NFL team, though he played all but one game in his career with the Raiders. He was originally drafted by the Cowboys in 1978, but never played a game for them. In 1979 he played one game with the Giants before joining the Raiders where he would spend the rest of Played ten seasons with the Raiders from 79-88.
Christensen's first catch in the NFL was a one yard touchdown in the 1980 wildcard playoff game against the Oilers to start the Raiders run to their second Super Bowl. Two seasons later, he was an All Pro, catching 92 balls for 1247 yards and 12 touchdowns. From there he would be named to five-straight Pro Bowls as well as one more All Pro nod.
He is the only ever Raiders tight end to lead the team in receiving four straight seasons. The first of those seasons came in 1983 when the Raiders went on to win their third Super Bowl. In those playoffs he had 13 catches for 134 yards including a 7-catch, 88-yard performance in the division round against the Steelers.
Christensen died in November of 2013 due to complications involved in liver transplant surgery. He was just 57 years old.