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) /
29 of 50
Oakland Raiders
(Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images) /

28. . CB. Texas A&M Aggies. Lester Hayes. 22. player

Playing opposite of Mike Haynes for much of the 1980s, that cornerback tandem of Haynes and Lester Hayes was something else. The Raiders took a chance on the defensive back out of Texas A&M with their fifth-round pick in the 1977 NFL Draft. Hayes proved to be one of the better late-round selections in Raiders’ football history.

While he was a solid starter in Oakland his first three years in the league in the late 1970s, Hayes really became a star cornerback in his fourth year in the league in 1980. That year, he led the NFL in interceptions with a ridiculous 13 for 273 yards and a touchdown. He would win the NFL Defensive Player of the Year and ultimately helped him make the NFL 1980s All-Decade Team.

Hayes was part of two Super Bowl championship teams with the Raiders in 1980 and 1983. He would make the Pro Bowl every year from 1980 to 1984. Hayes was obviously first-team All-Pro in 1980. He was a five-time second-team All-Pro in 1979 and from 1981 to 1984. Hayes would never play for another NFL franchise, retiring after the 1986 NFL season at 31 years old.

While Hayes’ Pro Football Hall of Fame case is compelling, frankly, he might have retired a bit too soon for this to really be a reality. In short, Hayes will likely reside in the Hall of Very Good. That being said, he is tied for a Raiders record for most career interceptions all-time with 39.