The Oakland Raiders have a rich history, and many great players have worn the silver and black—past and present. Trying to come up with an all-time defensive line up for the Raiders is like going to the Miss Universe Pageant and only being able to pick 11 girls to take to the after party.
There are so many options, and many great candidates will be left out. There have been many Raiders worthy of being on this list, but only 11 will make the cut.
I decided to go with a nickel defense because the Raiders have had plenty of defensive backs that have contributed to the franchise. I will also add current players to this all time list because I am trying to field a solid 11 man team.
Let's take a look at my all-time Raiders defense.
Greg Townsend was a fourth-round pick out of TCU in 1983. He had a wonderful 10-year career with the Oakland Raiders recording 109 sacks. That puts him in the top 20 all time in the NFL.
One-third of his career tackles were sacks, and he managed to catch three interceptions and score four touchdowns. He was able to get to the quarterback often, and that is important if you are playing a nickel defense.
Townsend would be an excellent choice for this defensive team.
A scary sight for any quarterback would be Howie Long lining up opposite of Greg Townsend.
Long recorded 84 sacks, and according to the Pro Football Hall of Fame website, that doesn't count the 7.5 sacks he recorded in his rookie year before sacks became an official stat
Howie won a Super Bowl with the Raiders and was voted to eight Pro Bowls. Long and Townsend would make life a lot easier for the following defensive tackles.
Love him or hate him, Chester McGlockton was a bad man. He was a force in the middle and was one of the best in the league when he wanted to be.
With Long and Townsend on the outside, McGlockton would be a dominating force in the middle. He recorded 39.5 sacks and was a four-time Pro Bowler.
Finding a partner in the middle for McGlockton wasn't easy, but I think I found the perfect guy for the job.
Odds are Richard Seymour will one day end up in the Hall of Fame, and he's also most likely to finish his career as a Raider.
He's only played in Oakland for two years, but his impact has already been felt in more ways than one. The young players have felt his positive impact, and Big Ben has felt the impact of Seymour's iron fist.
Seymour plays like a true Raider with his ruthless ways. He's nasty, smart and most likely to find a way to get into your head. His work ethic and style of play would make him a perfect addition to this all time team.
Imagine a defensive line with Townsend, Seymour, McGlockton and Long. That would be an all-time nightmare for any QB.
I need some more of that Raider Nastiness in this lineup so I will be placing Ted Hendricks as a starting linebacker.
This man was a monster as a linebacker and would make Richard Seymour's hit on Big Ben look innocent. A guy with his intensity and attitude would make a great fit for this lineup. "The Mad Stork" or "Kick 'em in the Head Ted" were a couple of names that described his style of play.
Greg Biekert is the perfect middle linebacker for this team. Not only is he tough, but he is also one of the smartest linebackers to ever play the game.
His time in the silver and black may not be appreciated enough. He recorded over 700 tackles in a Raider uniform and would be the perfect guy to put next to Ted Hendricks.
The six men on the field are already enough to stop most offenses, but let's take a look at this amazing secondary.
Willie Brown is tied as the Raiders all-time leader in interceptions with 39. He is one of the best corners in NFL history. He was a big part of the Raiders Super Bowl XI victory and would be a big part of this lineup.
With the strong front line this team would create, Brown would be getting plenty of picks and would be taking them to the house just like he did in Super Bowl XI.
Brown would need some solid company, and the next two defensive backs would be the perfect fit for this secondary.
Mike Haynes was one of the best cornerbacks in the league during his time and could be today as well. His nickname could have been "Blanket" because he could cover anyone all day and night.
He would make an excellent addition to this all-time team. Not only could he cover any receiver lined up in front of him, but he would shut down a whole side of the field. His championship swagger would also make this team more than elite.
The next player is very similar to Haynes in the way they shut down players.
In today's NFL, it's hard to find a true shutdown corner. Nnamdi Asomugha is as close as it comes to this because teams rarely throw his way.
He's lucky if he gets two or three balls thrown his way in one game. Asomugha's stats won't impress many people, but when you watch the game and see his impact on the field, you'll know why he is on this team.
With Asomugha, Haynes and Brown playing defensive backs, you have to wonder if there is even a need a safety, but these next two guys are a perfect fit for this team.
George Atkinson is tied for fifth all time in career interceptions with the Oakland Raiders. He viewed receivers like burglars breaking into his house. He made them pay when they came his way.
He was one of the most menacing players in NFL history. He would be a perfect safety for this nasty team full of guys who play the Raiders way.
It only seems fitting that his partner is one of most feared hitters of all time and his partner in crime.
Jack "The Assassin" Tatum was ranked the sixth all-time most feared hitter. He tops off this team and represents what this team is all about.
A hard-hitting guy who wants to make the other team regret they ever played football. He wanted receivers to be concentrating on him instead of the ball, and he succeeded many times. The man was a monster, and though his hits would be illegal today, they were legal back when he played.
Let's recap my all-time Raiders team that will be lined up in the Nickel defense.
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