Countdown to 2020: Best Raiders player to wear No. 85
By Brad Weiss
Sure, we could have went with Williams here, as he had some solid seasons in the Silver and Black, but when it comes to the all-time best player to wear No. 85, Carleton Oats has to be the choice. A 21st round pick of the team back in 1964, Oats would become a mainstay on some outstanding Raiders defenses, cementing his mark on the franchise’s history.
A few years back, Mike Tanier from Bleacher Report listed the Raiders 1967 defense as the No. 19-best in history. That unit, affectionately known as “11 Angry Men” terrorized the opposition, helping the Raiders to a 13-1 record, an AFL Championship, and a berth in Super Bowl II.
Known for his ability to jump over offensive linemen, Oats played with the Raiders from 1965 through 1972, and notched three fumble recoveries, and a touchdown. Back then, stats like tackles and sacks were not counted, but if they were, I am sure his stat sheet would be filled.
Oats finished out his career with the Green Bay Packers, last appearing in an NFL game in 1973. For a four-year stretch, Oats was an everyday starter along a Raiders defensive line that won 40 games, appeared in the playoffs on a yearly basis, and established themselves as the gold standard in the AFL.