Raiders: Ranking the top 5 offensive linemen in franchise history

Raiders (Photo by Bill Smith/Getty Images)
Raiders (Photo by Bill Smith/Getty Images) /
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2. Gene Upshaw, LG, Raiders

Why does a legendary talent like Otto fail to crack the top two on this list? Because of players like Gene Upshaw.

Many would argue that the second spot is actually too low for a player of Upshaw’s caliber. The Hall of Famer accomplished everything he possibly could have during his illustrious career.

He was a two-time Super Bowl champion and one-time AFL champion. He also compiled six Pro-Bowl selections, one AFL All-Star team, and was named a member of the NFL’s 1970s All-Decade team.

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He had no tangible weaknesses in his game. There are few players with better run blocking or pass blocking reputations than “Mean” Gene Upshaw. He was the total package.

1. Art Shell, LT, Raiders

Younger football fans may only remember Art Shell as a former NFL coach. However, his impact on the Raiders’ franchise goes well beyond a brief stint as head coach in 2006.

Shell was a monstrous offensive line talent. He is widely considered to be among a very small handful of players in contention for the best offensive lineman in league history.

Shell was a two-time Super Bowl champion and eight-time Pro-Bowler. He, like many others on this list, is also an NFL Hall of Famer. Additionally, he compiled a total of four seasons being named to a first or second All-Pro team.

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He was the anchor that allowed legends like Ken Stabler, Jim Plunkett, Mark van Eeghen, and Fred Biletnikoff to thrive.

What changes would you make to this top-five list?