Aw yeah. We’ve reached the coveted 69. Probably the most requested personalized jersey out there. But oddly, not the most requested in Raiders history. There is a player donning 69 right now, however. So, let’s get down to business.
OT Jylan Ware
Chosen in the seventh round by the Raiders, he’s all potential. At 6-7, 317 pounds out of Alabama State, Ware checks the boxes physically. He’s also quite athletic for a player his size. There isn’t a whole lot else that can be said about him at this point. He faced lesser competition at an FCS school and didn’t earn all conference honors.
Ware is currently third on the depth chart at left tackle. That’s where I expect him to remain through camp. I don’t like to project too far ahead, but the situation here suggests a season on the practice squad may be in the cards.
Who wore it best/wearing it now: OL Khalif Barnes (2009-15)
That’s right; Khalif Barnes. This former 2nd round pick spent the first four NFL seasons as the starting left tackle in Jacksonville under Jack Del Rio. When he hit free agency, he was looking for his first long term deal. After making the free agent rounds, he didn’t receive the long term offer he was looking for so he signed on for one year with the Raiders. Little did anyone know, that would be the first of an unprecedented seven straight one-year deals Barnes would sign with the Raiders. He never got to be the full time starting left tackle as he had hoped, but they kept bringing him back to compete for a spot, and he kept earning it.
After a couple of seasons struggling to transition from left tackle to right tackle, he had a couple of fine seasons as the everyday starting right tackle. Over his final three seasons in 2013-15 injuries to others had Barnes bounce around the line as a utility hole filler. He went from right tackle to left tackle to left guard, back to right tackle, and then tackle eligible in jumbo packages.
Barnes carved out a nice 11-year NFL career for himself by being willing to work for his spot each and every season with no long term guarantees.