Exactly two weeks from today the Raiders will kick off their 2017 season. There are three preseason games in the books and one left to go. With 14 days left, we check in with the guy wearing it right now in Silver & Black.
WR Keon Hatcher
This undrafted rookie out of Arkansas has some sticky hands. His claim to fame was having college football’s best drop rate last season. No receiver in college football saw more passes (68) without a single drop on catchable passes (44) than Hatcher. If it was catchable, he caught it. Period.
Those hands have shown up in Raiders training camp, and could earn the 6-1, 212-pound receiver a look on the Raiders’ practice squad or perhaps even a shot at the roster. He received the fourth most snaps (19) among wide receivers in the team’s third preseason game Saturday night in Dallas.
Who wore it best: WR Fred Biletnikoff (1965-66)
That is right folks, the great Fred Biletnikoff wore the number 14 best. It would be understandable if you were sitting there thinking that this couldn't be right because he wore #25 best, which is of course the number that he made famous. However before he made himself a Hall of Fame player in number 25, he wore the number 14. He is the only player to be selected in this countdown under two different numbers.
He wore the number 14 for just 24 games of his career, and in those 24 games he caught 41 passes for 603 yards and 3 TD’s. Those are not huge numbers, especially considering he ended his career with a whopping 8,974 receiving yards and 76 touchdowns. Most of that damage came after his first 2 years of wearing number 14, but when you have an all-time great who wore the number and no one else jumping out to make a strong case for themselves, you gotta go with the legend.
Freddy was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1988 and was the franchise record holder in both yards and touchdowns until another Hall of Fame player came up and broke them. That player’s was Tim Brown, and there’s no shame in having him break your records.