Oakland Raiders: All-Decade Team for the 2010s

Raiders (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Raiders (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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Raiders (Photo by Ed Mulholland/Getty Images) /

Cornerback: Nnamdi Asomugha 

2010 was the only year Nnamdi Asomugha played for the Raiders in this decade, but it was one of his best seasons and earned him his second All-Pro selection.

Asomugha was the definition of a shut-down cornerback and so outside of his amazing eight-interception year in 2006, he never had more than one interception in a single season with the Silver and Black.

This was due to quarterbacks completely avoiding him. Per Pro Football Focus, Asomugha was thrown at a mere 29 times through the entirety of the 2010 season.

Talk about shutting down one side of the field.

Asomugha wasn’t the fastest or most athletic corner, but his length and mirroring ability were top notch and allowed him to excel as the type of press-man corner Al Davis always loved.

Free safety: Charles Woodson

Future Hall of Famer and one of the all-time great Raiders, Charles Woodson started his second stint with the Raiders in 2013 after playing seven years for the Green Bay Packers.

Despite being 37-years-old when he rejoined, his three years at safety were the best the Raiders have had this decade, even earning a Pro-Bowl bid his final season at 39.

While Woodson did lose a step being late into his 30’s playing a position that relies heavily on athleticism, even with that lost step he was still on the same level athletically as the majority of NFL safeties.

In 2014, Woodson led the team with 81 solo tackles, 111 combined. He also had eight deflections and four interceptions. At age 38, he was flying around the field and playing his heart out to make up for the defensive deficiencies and lack of talent on that side of the ball.

It’s a shame he couldn’t play for one more year so he could experience at least one good season in his three-year stint, as he left it all on the field on teams where half the players didn’t seem to be giving their full efforts under an uninspiring Dennis Allen.

Strong safety: Tyvon Branch

Tyvon Branch was drafted in 2008 and spent seven years in Oakland. Branch was the typical Al Davis pick, as he ran a 4.31 in the combine which put him only behind Chris Johnson and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.

Despite the elite level speed and athleticism, Branch was never able to develop in coverage and was a pure box safety despite having the sideline to sideline speed required to play single high.

He did excel against the run, going over 100 tackles for three straight seasons from 2009 through 2011. Injuries sidelined Branch for the majority of the 2013 and 2014 seasons, which would be his last in Oakland.

Tyvon Branch kind of reminds me of Johnathan Abram, both being violent hitters with top-level athleticism. Though hopefully, Abram is able to develop in coverage and avoid the injury bug which has already hit him early in his career.

Cornerback: David Amerson

This one was a tough decision with the lack of talent the Raiders have deployed at the cornerback position in recent years.

The Raiders signed David Amerson in 2015, two games into the season following his release by the Washington Redskins.

Amerson was drafted during the prime of Richard Sherman‘s career, and during those years, the NFL media and coaching staffs seemed to be enamored with taller, long corners, and Amerson fit that mold.

He was extremely raw coming out of college and was never able to put it together during his time in Washington which lead to his release.

That changed his first year in Oakland as the then third-year pro was named Pro Football Focus’ most improved player of 2015. That season he led the league in pass deflections with a whomping 26 to go along with four interceptions.

This lead to Reggie McKenzie signing him to a four-year $34 million contract.

He regressed in 2016, as opposing quarterbacks had a 102.2 passer rating when targeting Amerson, opposed to the 66.3 rating he gave up in 2015.

He would stay on the team throughout the 2017 season, but only played and started in six games before being released by the team before the start of the 2018 season.

His lone good season in 2015 was good enough for him to make this list, which shows how much of a problem the team has had finding a legitimate cornerback for far too many years.