The first round of the NFL draft is 10 days away and the Oakland Raiders, after finishing 4-12 last season, hold the No. 5 overall pick, as well as selections in the second (No. 36 overall), third (67) and fourth (107) rounds, plus three picks in the seventh round (219, 235 and 247).
Let's begin our dual countdown, then, of the top 5 and bottom 5 Raiders draft picks since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970, with an honorable mention list of best picks (we'll get our dishonorable mentions going later this afternoon)…
Top Raiders Draft Picks Since 1970 (honorable mention)
CB Lester Hayes -- a fifth-round pick, No. 126 overall, out of Texas A&M in 1977, the converted safety became the epitome of a physical bump-and-run cornerback. He was a five-time Pro Bowler, the 1980 defensive player of the year with 13 interceptions and helped the Raiders win a pair of Super Bowls.
LB Rod Martin -- a 12th-round pick, No. 317 overall, out of USC in 1977, he came up huge for the Raiders in Super Bowl XV (three interceptions and a fumble recovery) and Super Bowl XVIII (a sack, a fumble recovery and a stop of John Riggins on 4th and 1). Martin was a two-time Pro Bowler.
LB Matt Millen -- a second-rounder, No. 43 overall out of Penn State, in 1980, he started in the middle as a rookie for the SB XV champs and picked up another ring three years later leading the Raiders defense. He would later win two more rings with the San Francisco 49ers and Washington.
RB Bo Jackson -- a seventh-round pick, No. 183 overall, out of Auburn in 1987, he was actually the No. 1 overall pick of Tampa Bay the year before as the Heisman Trophy winner but chose baseball over football. The NFL became his “hobby” and for four star-crossed seasons Jackson electrified the Raiders, until a hip injury ended his career.
WR Tim Brown -- a first-rounder, No. 6 overall, as the Heisman Trophy winner out of Notre Dame in 1988, he went on to become the Raiders' all-time leading receiver with 1,070 catches for 14,734 yards and 99 TDs. Brown, a five-time Pro Football Hall of Fame finalist, was also a prolific punt and kick returner but never won a Super Bowl ring.
DB Charles Woodson -- a first rounder, No, 4 overall, as the Heisman Trophy winner out of Michigan in 1998, he had Hall of Fame talent in his first tour of duty with the Raiders but became a Hall of Famer in Green Bay. His return to Oakland in 2013 was celebrated as the prodigal son coming home.
PK Sebastian Janikowski -- a somewhat shocking first-rounder, No. 17 overall, out of Florida State in 2000, the man known as SeaBass overcame his early wild child ways to become not only the Raiders' most dependable weapon, but the franchise's all-time leading scorer with 1,489 career points currently.