Willie Brown, Charles Woodson, Mike Haynes, Lester Hayes, Nnamdi Asomugha, Terry McDaniel
When it comes to the cornerback position, I would personally challenge any organization to find a better collection of talent than the Raiders have had through the history of the franchise. Starting with guys like Willie Brown and Lester Hayes, this was a position group that was very hard to narrow down to six names.
Let us begin with Willie Brown, who many believe is the best defensive player in the history of Raiders football. Brown was traded to the Raiders in 1967, and would be a key on a defense that would lead the team to the AFL title. A Pro Bowl player from 1970-73, Brown had his shining moment in Super Bowl XI, when he picked off Minnesota Vikings quarterback Fran Tarkenton and returned it a then-record 75 yards for the score.
Hayes played his entire career with the Raiders, as he was an active player from 1977-86. Nicknamed “The Judge,” Hayes loved to get into it with wide receivers, and was a two-time Super Bowl champion with the Raiders. The NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1980, Hayes is still considered one of the best shutdown cornerbacks in NFL history.
The Raiders made Charles Woodson their first round pick in the 1997 NFL Draft, after the stunning two-way player for the Michigan Wolverines won the Heisman Trophy. Beginning his career as a cornerback, Woodson quickly became one of the best in the league, and earned NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year honors. A five-time Pro Bowler for the Raiders, Woodson came back to the Raiders to end his career, and will certainly be donning a gold jacket in the near future.
After Woodson left the Raiders in 2001, the team was in search for their next great cornerback. In the first round of the 2003 NFL Draft, they found him, as Nnamdi Asomugha became one of the best corners in the league for the Raiders. A three-time Pro Bowler, he was the Most Valuable Player of the team twice, and he never enjoyed the kind of success he had with the Raiders after leaving the team in 2010.
Mike Haynes came to the Raiders from New England, and the team had to pay a pretty penny to get him. The Raiders had to send a No. 1 pick in 1984, and a No. 2 pick in 1985 to be awarded his contract, but he was worth every penny. Haynes partnered with Lester Hayes to form arguably the best cornerback duo in NFL history, and he just may be the best cornerback the game has ever seen.
The sixth, and final, cornerback on the 53-man roster is Terry McDaniel, who was the Raiders first round draft pick in 1988. During his time in the Silver and Black, McDaniel became one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL, going to five straight Pro Bowls from 1992-96. Blessed with incredible speed, he was never afraid to come up and challenge wide receivers, which makes him very deserving of a spot on this all-time roster.