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Best Raiders draft picks of all time by round: Lower first round

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Art Shell, Gene Upshaw

Following the Raiders selection of Kolton Miller with the 15th overall pick, we listed the Raiders top five top 15 picks. Picking one of them was just not an option. There were too many good ones. Now we move to those first round picks outside the top 15. But from here on out, we pick one player as the best of the bunch.

OG Gene Upshaw (1967) -- 17

This was not a difficult choice. Mainly because of the words ‘First ballot Hall of Famer’. The man who earned the nickname “Highway 63″ opened up many lanes for the likes of Marv Hubbard and Mark Van Eeghen to put up 1000-yard seasons.

He also was a steady presence, blocking for three of the greatest Raiders passers of all time. First for Daryl Lamonica, then Ken Stabler and then Jim Plunkett. In his 15 years, he collected two Super Bowl rings, five All Pro nods, and seven Pro Bowls.

He was a member of the 70’s All-Decade team, the 75th anniversary All Time team, and named one of The Sporting News’ 100 Greatest Football Players. He served as President of the NFLPA for many years until his death in 2009 of pancreatic cancer.

Hat tips:

CB Nnamdi Asomugha (2003) -- 31

TE Raymond Chester (1970) -- 24

P Ray Guy (1973) -- 23

RB Napoleon Kaufman (1995) – 18

T Henry Lawrence (1974) -- 19

DT Chester McGlockton (1992) -- 16

C Don Mosebar (1983) — 26

S Jack Tatum (1971) -- 19