Las Vegas Raiders: 50 greatest players in franchise history

A video board displays an Al Davis quote (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
A video board displays an Al Davis quote (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /
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Oakland Raiders
(Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /

G. Pacific Tigers. Wayne Hawkins. 28. player. 28.

Right guard Wayne Hawkins is not only one of the greatest players in Raiders history, but one of the best players in AFL history. Originally taken by the rival Denver Broncos in the First Selection Round in 1960, Hawkins would play his entire football career with the Silver and Black during their time in the AFL.

Hawkins made five-straight AFL All-Star games beginning in year four in the league in 1963. He would help the Raiders win the 1967 AFL Championship before falling to the Green Bay Packers in what is now known as Super Bowl II. Interestingly, he would play against another great guard from his hometown of Jordan, Montana in Jerry Kramer in that championship bout.

Hawkins would spend the 1970 NFL season after the AFL/NFL merger on essentially the Raiders’ practice squad. He would retire as a member of the Silver and Black in 1971. Hawkins made the Raiders All-Time Team and is a member of the American Football League Hall of Fame. However, Canton enshrinement eludes him to this date.

In the 10-year history of the AFL, only 20 players would play in the league from start to finish. Hawkins was obviously one of them. While guards like Gene Upshaw and Steve Wisniewski are higher up on this list than him, Hawkins perhaps laid the foundation for the great line play we’d see out of interior offensive linemen for years with the Silver and Black.