2015 NFL Draft: Five Biggest Busts in Raiders Draft History

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4. Roman Gabriel

Selected: No. 1 overall (AFL draft), 1962

Seasons played for the Raiders: 0

Games started for the Raiders: 0

OK, so I cheated a bit. It’s hard to call one of the best QBs of his era a draft bust, even if he never played a single snap for the Raiders, which wasn’t uncommon in the ’60s, when the NFL and AFL competed for talent.

But I just think it’s really cool that, in 1962, the Raiders drafted Roman Gabriel in the first round, and Lance Freakin’ Alworth in the second round in the same draft. Imagine if they had actually been Raiders?

Gabriel was selected 2nd overall in the NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Rams and like many players of the era, chose the NFL over the upstart AFL.

He had an incredible career for the Rams, playing 11 years in Los Angeles, going to three Pro Bowls in 1967, 1968 and 1969, and even being named first team All-Pro once in 1969.

He went on to play another five seasons in Philadelphia with the Eagles, making his fourth Pro Bowl in 1973. Gabriel retired with an 86-64-1 record as a starter, 29,444 total passing yards, and 201 touchdowns to a 149 interceptions, statistics better than a few Hall of Fame QB’s of his era.

But none of that was for the team that drafted him No. 1 overall in the 1962 AFL Draft, of course. The Raiders went 1-13 in 1962 and head coach Marty Feldman was fired after five games. Cotton Davidson was the Raiders quarterback that year.

The following year, Tom Flores started 9 games at quarterback and led the Raiders to an 8-1 mark as the team improved to 10-4 under a new head coach named Al Davis.