On Tuesday, we looked at the Raiders’ draft history at No. 17 overall. That’s the pick Las Vegas has in the first round of the April 29-May 1 draft.
The Raiders have a short, but fascinating history at No. 17, highlighted by the selection of Pro Football Hall of Fame guard Gene Upshaw. The Raiders’ history drafting at No. 48 (which they own in the second round of this draft) is even smaller, but just as cool.
Defensive lineman Howie Long:
Upshaw’s teammate in his final NFL season and fellow member of the Canton, Ohio Pro Football Hall of Fame. How awesome is that?
Long was a spectacular pick by Al Davis in 1981 (the team’s last season in Oakland before the move to Los Angeles) as a little-known defensive lineman from Villanova. What a way to follow-up a Super Bowl-winning season — grabbing a Hall of Famer that deep in the draft. The Raiders could do no wrong in those days. Long went on to be one of the premier players in the NFL and was a key member of the Raiders’ last Super Bowl-winning team. He made the Pro Bowl eight times and played 13 seasons in the NFL, all for the Raiders. He’s an all-time legend.
Offensive lineman Stefen Wisniewski:
Wisniewski certainly didn’t have the same impact as Long did with the Raiders. It was almost a foregone conclusion that Wisniewski would don the Silver and Black, and he was the first pick of the final draft of Al Davis’ lifetime.
Shortly after Wisniewski was drafted, I told him he was the most predictable No. 48 pick in NFL history. He laughed and didn’t disagree. He is the nephew of former Raiders’ star offensive lineman Steve Wisniewski, who was coaching with the team at the time. Al Davis was bringing his nephew to Oakland and there was no doubting that.