Countdown to 2020: Best Raiders player to wear No. 71 all-time
By Brad Weiss
With 71 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. 71.
With the season a few months away, we take a look at 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. That game will kick off the new era of Raiders football.
We continue our series with No. 71.
Denzelle Good is the current Raiders player wearing No. 71, and he proved to be a valuable player along the Raiders offensive line last season. After coming over from Indianapolis in 2018, and wearing No. 69, Good changed to his usual No. 71 for the 2019 campaign, a season that saw him appear in all 16 games, making five starts.
When it comes to the best Raiders player to wear No. 71, that has to go to a nose tackle who was dominant in the early 1980s, playing eight seasons with the franchise.
Bill Pickel (1983-1990)
The Los Angeles Raiders drafted Bill Pickel out of Rutgers University with the No. 54 overall pick in the second round of the 1983 NFL Draft. Though he had to battle through injuries as a rookie, he was named to the NFL’s All-Rookie Team, helping the Silver and Black win Super Bowl XVIII over the Washington Redskins.
A monster in the middle of the Raiders defensive line, Pickel racked up three straight season with double-digit sacks from 1984 through 1986, and after that 1986 season, he was named an All-Pro. In his eight years with the team, Pickel appeared in 121 games, making 68 starts, and finished with 53 sacks.
Pickel, like fellow star Raiders defensive lineman Tom Keating, utilized a four point stance, putting both hands in the dirt. He would go on to finish out his career with the New York Jets, as the Queens native returned home for the final four years of his career, but he was not as dominant a player than he was in the Silver and Black.