Happy Monday, y’all. we’ve reached 76 days until the Raiders season opener in Tennessee. It’s also the centennial of the year our nation gained it’s independence and the season the Raiders would go on to win their first Super Bowl. And this man’s number.
OL Jon Feliciano
The team’s pick in the 4th round of the 2015 draft out of Miami. He wore number 68 as a rookie and switched to 76 last season. He was initially drafted with hopes that he could make a run at the starting right guard spot or at least take the job eventually. That never materialized.
Feliciano appeared in a total of six games as a rookie, and started three late in the season due to injuries causing some line shuffling. It was then the team realized perhaps he wasn’t the answer so they spent big time to bring in Kelechi Osemele at left guard and move Gabe Jackson to right guard.
With the two guard spots now on lock by Osemele and Jackson, the team looked to Feliciano’s experience at the center position, making him the primary backup behind Rodney Hudson. Barring an injury to Hudson, backup center/guard is where Feliciano will spend his Raiders career. Not a bad gig if you can get it.
Who wore it best: OG Steve Wisniewski (1989-2001)
One of the last great career Raiders, Wisniewski locked down the left guard spot for 13 seasons. In that time, he was named to 8 Pro Bowls and twice an All Pro. Despite those numbers being exactly the same as Hall of Famer Howie Long – another career Raider – Wisniewski has not been inducted in the Hall and it remains to be seen if he’ll ever break through.
Where Wisniewski stood above the rest is his astounding dependability. He missed two starts in his first three seasons and then didn’t miss a single start the rest of his career- a stretch of ten years from 1992-2001 without missing a game. He is the very image of a Hall of Famer.
His NFL bloodlines are strong, and brought about his nephew Stephen Wisniewski being drafted by the Raiders. Stephen played center for the Raiders for four years before leaving as a free agent to usher in the aforementioned Hudson. Lil Wiz had a couple of good seasons at center, although one is left to wonder how good he could have been at his uncle’s guard position.