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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Bo Jackson, Los Angeles Raiders
13 Jan 1991: Running back Bo Jackson of the Los Angeles Raiders runs down the field during a playoff game against the Cincinnati Bengals at the Los Angeles Coliseum in Los Angeles, California. The Raiders won the game 20-10. /

. RB. Auburn Tigers. Bo Jackson. 48. player. 28

Admittedly, Bo Jackson was the hardest player to figure out where exactly he lands on this list. There is no doubt how tremendously gifted of an athlete this guy was. He won the Heisman Trophy as the star running back for the Auburn Tigers in 1985. Jackson was a two-sport phenomenon, starring in the outfield for the Kansas City Royals and in the backfield for the then Los Angeles Raiders.

Jackson made the Pro Bowl in what was his final NFL season in 1990. He would make a trip to the MLB All-Star Game in 1989 while with Kansas City. However, Jackson’s brilliant professional sports career was cut far too short on one play in January 1991. During an AFC playoff game versus the Cincinnati Bengals, Jackson dislocated his hip on a tackle after a 34-yard gain. The Raiders would win the game, but that would be all she wrote in Jackson’s part-time NFL career.

Jackson would bounce back and play a few more years in the Junior Circuit in the MLB before retiring in 1994 as a member of California Angels. He was done playing football before his 30th birthday. His MLB career ended before his 32nd. Had he stayed healthy, maybe Jackson would have earned both Canton and Cooperstown enshrinement. That’s almost unthinkable, but that’s a testament to the once-in-a-lifetime type of athlete that was Jackson.

In total, Jackson rushed for 2,782 yards on 515 carries and 16 touchdowns. Keep in mind that he only played part-time with the Raiders, coming aboard after baseball season ended in October.

The tandem of Jackson and fellow Heisman Trophy winner in Pro Football Hall of Famer Marcus Allen was the stuff of legends. Jackson’s NFL career was unforgettable but far too short for him to really climb up this list. That being said, there may not have been a more talented football player in Raiders history than Jackson.