Raiders: Ranking the top 5 defensive backs in franchise history

Raiders (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Raiders (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /
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Raiders (Photo by: Bernstein Associates/Getty Images) /

4. Jack Tatum, FS, Raiders

Now that the hot take is out of the way, let’s look at a more obvious star — Jack Tatum. The nine-year Oakland safety was a member of the historic 1976 Super Bowl championship team. He was also a three-time Pro Bowler and ranks sixth on the Raiders’ all-time interception list (30).

“The Assassin” was one of the hardest hitting defensive players in the league during his prime. In an era where big hits were not only tolerated but celebrated, Tatum struck fear into any receiver brave enough to go over the middle.

Related Story. Raiders: Ranking the top 5 receivers in franchise history. light

3. Lester Hayes, CB, Raiders

The fact that Lester Hayes is not a member of the NFL Hall of Fame is both a mystery and a tragedy. The two-time Super Bowl champion was one of the best corners in the league during his tenure. He holds the distinction of playing his entire 10-year career with the Raiders franchise.

As a result, he ranks first in team history (tie) with 39 interceptions. He also earned NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors in 1980, was a five-time Pro Bowl selection, and is a member of the NFL All-Decade team for the 1980s.

The former fifth-round pick is one of the biggest draft-day steals the Raiders have ever had. Few would argue his inclusion at this spot.