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) /
34 of 50
Todd Christensen, Los Angeles Raiders
(Photo by: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images) /

28. . TE. BYU Cougars. Todd Christensen. 17. player

One could easily argue that the Raiders organization helped bring along the importance of the pass-catching tight end in professional football. The next tight end on this list we absolutely have to talk about is Todd Christensen. He was a great running back in college for the BYU Cougars but made his living as a pass-catcher for the Silver and Black. Christensen also had one of the most glorious mustaches of all-time.

Christensen would initially be a second-round pick by the Dallas Cowboys in the 1978 NFL Draft. He broke his foot during the final pre-season game of the year, so he never actually played a game that counted for America’s Team. Dallas wanted to convert him to a tight end, but he refused. That would lead to him being cut and picked up on waivers by the New York Giants.

Still reluctant to play tight end, he would be cut by the Giants and then picked up by the Raiders. Christensen would finally come to his senses and embrace the tight end role with the Raiders in 1982 when the team was in Los Angeles. In the final seven years of his NFL career, Christensen would rattle off five-straight Pro Bowls from 1983 to 1987. He would be first-team All-Pro in 1983 and 1985, helping lead the Raiders to a Super Bowl victory in 1983 over the Washington Redskins.

Christensen twice led the NFL in receptions. He went over 1,000 yards receiving three times in his career. Christensen retired after the 1988 NFL season with 461 catches for 5,872 yards and 41 touchdowns. Perhaps Christensen could one day wind up in Canton? However, he might just be Hall of Very Good material. If he is ever inducted, it would be posthumously, as Christensen died in 2013 during complications from a liver transplant.