Reggie McKenzie’s players will be on the field

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Aug 28, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Tarvaris Jackson (7) under pressure from Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Justin Ellis (78) and Raiders strong safety Tyvon Branch (33) during the first half at Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive Backs and Linebackers

Jumping all the way back to 1998, the Raiders drafted one of the best cover CB’s in the game, and he is proving to be just as good at the Safety position.  Charles Woodson is the heart and soul of the defensive secondary, and he is schooling up the younger players to be as good or close to as good as he ever was.  McKenzie made the decision to bring him back in 2013, and Woodson has proven to be worth it.

In 2008, the Raiders drafted Safety Tyvon Branch to handle the strong-side of the secondary.  Branch has grown to become a dominant run stuffer who always seems to be around the ball.  Branch and Woodson make a great team who will prove to be one of the best tandems in the NFL today.

Along with these two great players, McKenzie has kept and assembled drafted players who will be the face of the future for the Raiders.  These include, Chimdi Chekwa (2011), D.J. Hayden (2013), Jonathan Dowling (2014), T.J. Carrie (2014), and Keith McGill (2014).

When drafting for the future on an organizations defense, LB’s must be a focal point.  Versatility, toughness, and cunning are traits that are needed to be a worthy NFL LB.  McKenzie should know this, since he was drafted out of Tennessee by the Los Angeles Raiders in 1985 as a LB.  With this knowledge, McKenzie brought the faces of the LB corps in from day one: LB Miles Burris (2012), LB Sio Moore (2013), and LB Khalil Mack (2014).  These three will grow together and become a force to be reckoned with.