Las Vegas Raiders: 5 best defensive tackles taken in the NFL Draft
5. Dan Birdwell: 41st overall in the 1962 AFL Draft
Dan Birdwell was drafted twice in 1962 in both the NFL and AFL Draft by the Raiders and Detroit Lions respectively out of the University of Houston. Birdwell is the only player on this list to play their entire career in the AFL and he did so wearing only the Silver and Black.
In his eight seasons in Oakland, Birdwell played in 96 games, was named to the AFL All-Star team and First-Team All Pro team once, and was a member of the 1967 AFL Championship team.
He was also a key member of the Raiders Super Bowl II team that fell short against the Green Bay Packers after a 13-1 season in the AFL. The former Houston Cougar played in an era before they recorded individual sacks as a statistic but the defensive line as a unit accounted for 66 sacks in a 14 game season the year the Raiders advanced to the Super Bowl for the first time.
Birdwell is a little known player from a bygone era of Raiders football but his achievements still endure. More than 50 years after he took his last snap for the Raiders, Birdwell is still fourth all time in games played by a defensive tackle and second all-time by one drafted by the Silver and Black.