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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2. Willie Brown, CB, Raiders

Few defensive backs in NFL history have compiled a winning resume like Willie Brown. Not only was he a three-time Super Bowl winner with the Raiders, but he was also a member of the team’s 1967 AFL Championship team.

The Hall of Famer was also named to four NFL Pro Bowls and five AFL All-Star teams. His 39 interceptions are tied with Lester Hayes for most in franchise history. His 138 AV (approximate value) is also most among Raiders’ defensive backs and fifth overall, regardless of position.

No player on this list, and few in league history have the combination of sustained winning and longevity like Brown. There is only one player who has a chance at overtaking him for the top spot.

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1. Charles Woodson, DB, Raiders

Who is the other player worthy of the top spot? None other than future Hall of Famer Charles Woodson.

There is one key distinction that must be made when considering Woodson for this spot. Unlike other players on this list, he did spend seven years of his prime with a different franchise (the Green Bay Packers).

However, thanks to a late-career reunion with his first team, Woodson still accumulated an impressive 11 season in Oakland.

In terms of talent, Woodson is the best defensive back the team has ever seen. In fact, he is one of the most accomplished players in the history of his position.

He is a five-time Oakland Pro Bowler (nine overall), and a four-time member of the first-team or second-team All-Pro teams while with the Raiders (eight overall).

While they add very little to his Raiders’ resume, it is also worth noting that Woodson was a rare defensive college Heisman winner, a college National Champion, and a Super Bowl Champion (with the Packers). These feats speak to his overall dominance as a football player.

More often than not, a player’s position in team history is based solely on their accomplishments with that specific franchise. If this were strictly the case, this spot would belong to Willie Brown.

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However, I’m making a special exception for Woodson due to his longevity and special caliber of dominance.

What changes would you make to this top-five list?