Not on what position the Raiders wanted in the first round of the 1982 draft; they wanted a running back. But after their top two choices were already gone in Stanford’s personalized nfl jerseys cheap Darrin Nelson and Arizona State’s Gerald Riggs, the Raiders were at a crossroads at pick No. 10.
Some in the room wanted Baylor’s Walter Abercrombie. The name of Richmond’s Barry Redden came up. The rest? They were keen on the reigning Heisman Trophy winner from USC. Guy by the name of Marcus Allen.
Thus began the most memorable draft moment in Raiders franchise history.
Especially since Al Davis was not in the Raiders’ draft room. Rather, the iconoclast owner was in court in Los Angeles, trying to finalize things for his team’s impending move to Southern California.
“He had to come out and talk to us on a payphone,” then-Raiders coach Tom Flores said of Davis with a laugh. “He said, ‘Is that who you want? Fine.'”
His 18 total TDs in 1984 remain a single-season franchise record as are his 11 straight 100-yard rushing games in 1985 and his 22 100-yard rushing games over his career. Allen’s three 1,000-yard rushing seasons are tied with Mark van Eeghen for most such seasons in Raiders history and no Raiders rookie has rushed for more yards than Allen did with his 697 in 1982.
And after playing the final five years of his career with the rival Kansas City Chiefs, Allen is one of 25 Pro Football Hall of Famers the Raiders recognize as one of their own. Allen went into Canton in 2003 in his first year of eligibility.
“I spent 25 seasons with the Raiders,” Ron Wolf, the former Raiders personnel executive and Hall of Famer, said on that NFL Network special on Allen. “Of all the people that nfl jerseys on sale ever came through during the time that I was there somebody has to be No. 1. Marcus Allen was No. 1. He’s the best player during my time with the Raiders that I’ve ever seen.”
Good thing for all involved, then, that saner heads prevailed in that split Raiders draft room in 1982.