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Raiders’ draft history picking at No. 17

Sebastian Janikowski and Gene Upshaw were both taken with the 17th pick

Super Bowl XV - Oakland Raiders v Philadelphia Eagles
Gene Upshaw

If they don’t trade the pick, the Las Vegas Raiders will have the No. 17 pick in the first round of the NFL draft for the fourth time in team history come April 29.

While it’s not a large sample size, the Raiders have had a memorable history at the No. 17 pick, including selecting one of the franchise’s all-time great players: Gene Upshaw

Let’s take a look at the Raiders’ history at No. 17.

Guard Gene Upshaw:
Upshaw is one of the greatest figures in team history. He was a Hall of Fame guard and was the anchor to a legendary Raiders’ team. Upshaw played his entire 15-season career with the Raiders and earned two Super Bowl rings. Draft picks don’t get much better than that.

Buffalo Bills v Oakland Raiders
Sebastian Janikowski
Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images

Kicker Sebastian Janikowski:
Sebastian Janikowski was one of the most fascinating draft picks of this century in the NFL. A kicker. In the first round. Wow!

Al Davis shocked the NFL with this choice. Janikowski ended up playing for the Raiders for 17 seasons and he is their all-time leading scorer with 1,799 points. You can argue the merit of taking a kicker that high (and it may never happen again), but Janikowski is part of the Raiders’ lore.

Cornerback Phillip Buchanon:
He had the least impact on the Raiders of the three players taken at No. 17. The Raiders traded Buchanon to the Houston Texans after three seasons. The Raiders also had the No. 23 pick in the 2002 draft and took linebacker Napoleon Harris. The No. 24 pick? Hall of Fame safety Ed Reed.

I can assure you that the Raiders won’t take another kicker at No. 17. Now, let’s see if they can nail it with another HoFer.