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This year, the Raiders will see two of their own put on the gold jacket to enter the Hall of Fame. Tom Flores finally hears his name called via the senior committee while Charles Woodson gets the call in his first year of eligibility.
Also a finalist, but not getting the knock on his door was Richard Seymour. Others include former Raiders who were nominees for this year’s class were CB Eric Allen (semifinalist), DE Justin Tuck, G Steve Wisniewski, DT La’Roi Glover, DE Greg Townsend, DE Pat Swilling, and CB Albert Lewis.
The list of former Raiders will either get longer as more become eligible or some names will be replaced by others. That begs the question of which Raiders will be next to have their name among the nominees and perhaps get the call to the hall once they’re eligible? There are five that come to mind.
1. P Shane Lechler — eligible 2022
Getting into the Hall of Fame as a punter is not easy. Arguably the greatest punter of all time, Ray Guy, had to wait until 2014 to get in via the senior committee despite being eligible since 1991. But if there ever was a punter who could break that mold, it’s Lechler.
Lechler is the NFL’s all-time leader in basically every punter category there is over his 18-year career — the first 13 spent in a Raiders uniform. He was a seven-time Pro Bowler, six-time All-Pro and a member of both the Hall of Fame’s 2000s and 2010s teams. Punters are part of football. And no one has done it better for longer than Lechler.
2. RB Marshawn Lynch — eligible 2024
One of the most colorful and enigmatic personalities in the history of the game. He didn’t speak to the media much, but he let his play do plenty of talking. Beast Mode ran for over 1000 yards six times and was named to five Pro Bowls with one All-Pro in his 13-year career. He got a ring with the Seahawks and had they handed him the ball one more time, he (and they) would’ve gotten another.
3. TE Jason Witten — eligible 2025
Though his single season with the Raiders was not exactly one for the storybooks, there was something for the record books. In his final game, he set a new NFL record for games played by a tight end. He hadn’t missed a game since his 2003 rookie season.
That kind of longevity and durability is noteworthy in and of itself. But you don’t stick around that long without being damn good. And making 11 Pro Bowls with two All-Pro nods tells that story. Not to mention his six-year run from 2007-2012 in which he averaged over 1,000 yards and 92 catches per season while scoring a combined 30 touchdowns.
4. DE/OLB Khalil Mack — active (with CHI)
It’s safe to say that Mack could retire right now and still make the Hall of Fame. He’s made six straight Pro Bowls, been named All-Pro three times, and one of those times became the only player ever to be named All-Pro at two different positions in the same year.
Mack has averaged 10 sacks per season in his seven-year career, and that’s despite having just four as a rookie. He also has 129 QB hits, 97 tackles for loss, and 23 forced fumbles in his career. Safe to say he isn’t retiring anytime soon, so by the time he does, he may have played himself into first ballot territory.
5. C Rodney Hudson — active
One of the greatest pas blocking centers in NFL history. Also incredibly smart, reliable, and athletic to get to the second level as a run blocker. The Raiders made him the NFL’s highest-paid center twice; first when they signed him away from the rival Chiefs in 2015 and again in 2019 when they signed him to an extension. The Raiders will probably make it thrice highest-paid center in a couple of years when his latest extension is up.
Hudson has made three Pro Bowls in his six seasons with the Raiders and absolutely should have made more than that. In addition, five times in his career he played every single offensive snap. And for him, it’s all about snaps. No one does it better and at 31 years of age, he has several more years to add to his legacy.