Countdown to 2020: Best Raiders player to wear No. 86
Mervyn Fernandez (1987-1992)
The Raiders selected Mervyn Fernandez in the tenth round of the 1983 NFL Draft, though he did not make his way to Los Angeles until four years later. Fernandez was an absolute star in the CFL, as he was the league’s Most Valuable Player in 1985, and was twice named a CFL All-Star.
Making his way down to the States for the 1987 NFL season, Fernandez did not become a full-time starter for the Raiders until 1989, when he was already 30-years old. His age did not stop him from being one of the better downfield threats in the league, as he racked up over 1,000 yards that season, going for over 18 yards per catch.
The year before, Fernandez averaged an absurd 26 yards per catch, leading the NFL, as he displayed his ability to be a human highlight film. In 1989, he had a career-high nine touchdowns, and to this date, he is still No. 9 all-time in receiving yards in team history, and ranks just outside the top-15 in receptions and touchdowns.
Fernandez may have been a more elite player in the CFL, but even at an advanced age per NFL standards, he made his mark on the league. He was a key member of the 1990 team that made it all the way to the AFC title game, and deserves to be named the best Raider to wear the No. 86 in franchise history.