Lester Hayes, Cornerback
Riddle me this. How could the greatest shutdown cornerback in the history of the NFL not be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame?
During his career with the Raiders, Lester Hayes dominated from his cornerback position, earning multiple honors, including being the 1980 NFL Defensive Player of the Year. That season, he picked off 13 passes, which is still the second-most by any player in a season in NFL history.
Playing for the Silver and Black from 1977-86, Hayes helped the Raiders to two Super Bowl titles, and earned the nicknames “the Judge,” and “Lester the Molester,” due to his ability to play the bump and run to perfection. The reason stickum was banned in the NFL in 1981, Hayes followed up an All-American career at Texas A&M to be one of the best to ever do it at his position.
Hayes is a member of the All-Decade team for the 1980s, as he was a Pro Bowl player in every season from 1980-84. He was a First-Team All-Pro selection in that magical 1980 season, and was a Second-Team selection in 1979, and then from 1981-84.
There is no way he should not be in Canton.
All five of these players made an incredible impact on the Raiders franchise, and are all-time players when it comes to the history of the NFL. Maybe none of them will ever get the nod for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but that will never minimize what they were able to accomplish on the football field.