In the last article, we took a look at the linebackers. In this one, we will exclusively look at the defensive backs. The other defensive and offensive positions can be seen in the articles with the same title (this is the conclusion of six articles). Of course there is a lot of ambiguity when it comes to determining this, so if you disagree or would swap one player out for another, feel free to comment your opinion! Let’s take a stroll down memory lane and get the conversation going.
Reminder: this is exclusively for what players did as Raiders from 2000 to 2019. Thus, there may be players who had a great career but aren’t on this list because the end of their careers or tenure with the Raiders was in the early 2000s.
Cornerback: Charles Woodson
Woodson is an all time Raiders great and there really should be no debate about his candidacy for this list. In two stints with the Raiders, the defensive back gathered 21 interceptions in nine seasons during the 2000s. You could probably make the case that Woodson deserves to be on this list twice, as a cornerback and a safety.
Cornerback: Nnamdi Asomugha
Like Woodson, there really should be no debate about Asomugha. The two time first team All Pro is up there with Willie Brown and Lester Hayes as one of the franchise’s best cornerbacks. From 2006 to 2010, Asomugha allowed an average of about 20 catches and 257 yards per season.
Safety: Tyvon Branch
While his last few years in Oakland were riddled with injuries between 2009 and 2012, Branch finished the season with a minimum of 95 tackles. The former UConn Husky ranks fourth among Raiders safeties in the 2000s with 19 passes defended.
Safety: Michael Huff
While Huff may not have lived up to the expectations that come with being the seventh overall pick (never selected to a Pro Bowl or All Pro team), the safety ranks third all time for the Raiders with 53 passes defended. Huff’s 11 interceptions are the most by any Raiders safety who played in the 2000s. Regardless of whether the former Longhorn lived up to your expectations or not, there is no denying that Huff was effective in coverage for Oakland.
Cornerback: Stanford Routt
Routt ranks fourth all time with 51 pass defended for the organization. If it weren’t for the pedigree of Woodson and Asomugha, Routt would certainly make the post 2000s All Raiders defense.
Cornerback: Phillip Buchanon
While viewed primarily as a return specialist, it often gets overlooked that Buchanon managed to accumulate 11 interceptions in Oakland and he returned four of those for touchdowns. Including punt and kick returns, Buchanon scored seven touchdowns as a Raider, which is pretty good for a defensive back.
Be sure to comment below with any players you feel should be included!