Countdown to 2020: Best Raiders player to wear No. 94

With only 94 days until the opening game of 2020, we start the count down with the best Raiders player at every jersey number. Today we focus on No. 94

There have been plenty of legendary players to put on the Raiders uniform, ranging from Hall of Famers, to guys who have been inexplicably left out of Canton. Through the team’s sixty years of existence, thousands of players have come and gone, each leaving a mark on the organization, no matter how small.

With the season a few months away, we look at the best player to wear the jersey number of the number of days left before the opener on September 13, 2020 against Carolina. That game will kick off the new era of Raiders football.

We continue our series with No. 94.

There have been two Raiders defensive lineman who are worthy of this distinction with one clear winner if it was just about their play on the field. Anthony Smith would be the clear winner but due to his violent past and the atrocities he committed long after he hung up his cleats, he will get no recognition here.

That leaves us with another defensive lineman that may not have had the impact Smith did on the field but was part of some special Raiders teams in the early 2000s.

Tony Bryant (1999-2002)

Tony Bryant was chosen by the Oakland Raiders with the 40th overall pick in the 1999 NFL Draft and he spent four eventful years in Silver and Black. Bryant had the advantage of being drafted by a competitive team that was a title contender during his tenure there and he was a contributor on some of the best Raiders teams this millennium.

In four years with the Raiders, Bryant played in 50 games, starting 40 of them and played in all 16 games in 2000 and 2001. In those 50 games he recorded 128 tackles, 20 tackles for loss, and a respectable 17.5 sacks.

He was a key figure in the Super Bowl squad until his season was cut short and he missed the playoff run while on injured reserve. He had his best season in 2000 when the Raiders fell just short in the AFC Championship against the Ravens.

Next: Raiders: Stealing one player from every AFC West foe

For his place in Raiders history, Bryant is 22nd all time in QB sacks and 20th in tackles for loss though the data on both is incomplete because they were not always accounted for in the stat sheet. Still, Bryant was a solid player for some talented teams and was a starter on two teams that made deep playoff runs but missed the Super Bowl run due to injury.