Las Vegas Raiders: 15 best linebackers of all-time
Best linebackers in Las Vegas Raiders history: 4. Dan Conners
Another legendary name, Dan Conners is the highest ranking middle linebacker on this list, and for good reason. Conners played several years in the AFL and a couple in the NFL as well.
Coming out of the University of Miami, Conners was drafted in both the AFL and ANFL Drafts. Ultimately, he decided to play for the Raiders in the AFL as he was selected in the second round, opposed to his fifth-round selection in the NFL.
Drafted prior to the 1964 season, Conners joined the Raiders at the perfect time. His first two years served primarily as a springboard for his career, but in 1966 Conners realized his full potential. From 1967 through 1970, the Raiders made four consecutive playoff appearances, including a defeat in the Super Bowl in 1967 to the Green Bay Packers.
Conners was an AFL All-Star in the first three years of that span, only failing to earn those honors in 1970. After the merger, the Raiders went right back to their winning ways, making three more consecutive playoff appearances from 1972 to 1974. Conners again was right in the heart of those defenses.
Conners spent his entire 11-season career with the Silver and Black, accumulating 154 games (regular season and playoffs). Conners, like Matsos with whom he played, were truly the gold standard for players that came after them. They were the blueprint for success. There is no doubt that the Raiders would have not been as successful without them.