With only 93 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. 93
With the 2020 NFL season just a few months away, we here at Just Blog Baby are honoring the best player to wear the jersey number of the number of days left before the opener on September 13, 2020 against the Carolina Panthers. This road matchup will kickoff the new era of Las Vegas Raiders football.
We continue our series with No. 93.
Before we discuss the greatest Raiders player to ever wear the number 93 jersey, there should be some mention of the second greatest to wear it, DT Tommy Kelly. Originally undrafted out of Mississippi State, Kelly spent nine years in Oakland and was a model of consistency for his near decade in Silver and Black. The former Bulldog had the misfortune of playing during a down period for the Raiders but was a fan favorite for his tenacity and take no prisoners approach to the game.
Now that Tommy Kelly has gotten his due, we can now discuss a player that terrorized opposing quarterbacks for a decade.
Greg Townsend (1983-1993, 1997)
In a list of all-time draft steals in Raiders history Greg Townsend would have to be at or near the top of the list. Selected in the fourth round of the 1983 NFL Draft out of TCU, Townsend would go on to spend 12 years total with the Silver and Black and become the franchise’s all-time leader in sacks with 107.5.
No other Raider, since the stat became official in 1982, has more than 80 and only one has more than 60. Townsend is a member of the 100-sack club and is currently 23rd all-time in NFL history ahead of names like Charles Haley and Warren Sapp.
Townsend was a key member of the 1983 Super Bowl winning squad in his rookie season and recorded a very impressive 10.5 sacks. He would go on to average double digit sacks in his first nine seasons with the Raiders, earning him two trips to the Pro Bowl and two mentions on the Second Team All-Pro team.
Consistency was a hallmark of his game as he missed just four games over 10 years in his first stint with the Raiders from 1983-1993. After a brief stint with the Eagles in 1994, Townsend would spend three years away from the game before returning to the Raiders in 1997 but would feature in just 4 games.
The former TCU Horned Frog had the benefit of playing opposite an all-time great in Howie Long as they formed one of the most-feared pass rushing tandems in the history of the NFL. Because he was overshadowed by Long, Townsend may be underrated by NFL fans but Raider Nation is well aware of all that he brought to the table when he was at his best.