Despite the recent relocation of the Raiders franchise, the majority of their rich history was achieved over in Oakland and Los Angeles insofar. The team is one of the most iconic in the whole NFL, with their players just as legendary. As the Raiders open a new chapter in Las Vegas this upcoming season, it feels right to recall some of the team's greatest players.
We will be listing three of the best running backs who have proudly donned the black and silver:
3. Mark van Eeghen, 1974-1981
Mark van Eeghen has done enough to place himself on the Mount Rushmore of Raiders' running backs. The former Colgate product was a diamond in the rough. He was selected late with the 75th pick of the 3rd round during the 1974 NFL Draft.
Van Eeghen was a pillar in Raiders' history as he was a key cog in the franchise's early Super Bowl championships. In Super Bowl XV, he was the game's leading rusher with 75 yards on 18 carries. The team repeated with a Super Bowl XVI victory the season after, and Van Eeghen was the team's second-leading rusher with 73 yards.
He left the Raiders in 1982 as their all-time leading rusher with 5,907 yards. He now comes second after new all-time lead rusher Marcus Allen's 8,545 yards.
2. Bo Jackson, 1987-1990
Bo Jackson may have only been with the Los Angeles Raiders for four years, but he sure made his time worthwhile. He was famously known as one of the most versatile and electrifying athletes of all time. His athleticism allowed him to have careers in both the NFL and the MLB. In fact, he is the only player in professional sports history to have been named an All-Star in both leagues.
His 73.2 yards per game average ranks second only behind 2019 rookie Josh Jacobs in team history. Jackson also holds three 80+ yard rushing touchdowns, despite playing in only 38 NFL games.
The former Auburn Tiger was a Heisman Trophy winner and a two-time Consensus All-American which towed him to be the first overall pick in the 1986 NFL Draft. He tallied 2,782 rushing yards, 5.4 yards per carry and 16 rushing touchdowns in his short career with the Raiders.
Jackson sustained a hip injury in 1991 which ended his football career. Nevertheless, he still went on to pursue his baseball career which ultimately ended in 1994. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1996.
1. Marcus Allen, 1982-1992
Rounding out this list is another Heisman Trophy winner in Marcus Allen. He is not only the best running back for the Raiders, but also one of the NFL's best of all-time. His numbers, which include 8,545 total rushing yards, 79 touchdowns, and 2,090 attempts, sit atop Raiders' record books.
Allen was a clearly beloved by Raiders fans during his 10-year run with the team. He was named the Super Bowl MVP during the team’s 1983 blowout victory over the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl XVIII. He also had an incredible season in 1985 that saw him record 1,759 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns. His consistent performance earned him league MVP honors that season.
The 10th pick of the 1982 NFL Draft garnered countless accolades all throughout his career. He was the 1982 NFL Rookie of the Year, 1985 NFL Offensive Player of the Year, a six-time Pro Bowler, and a two-time First-Team All-Pro team member.
He retired in 1997 and was officially inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2003.