Safety: Jack Tatum, George Atkinson, Vann McElroy, Mike Davis
The Raiders have employed some of the more feared safeties in NFL history, and here are our four that will make up the Mount Rushmore of Raiders safeties.
There have been few more feared players in the history of the NFL as Jack Tatum, who was referred to as the Assassin during his time with the Silver and Black. Tatum was a Pro Bowl player from 1973-75, and made his presence felt early, knocking out two Baltimore Colts tight ends in his NFL Debut. His hit on Sammy White is considered one of the hardest in Super Bowl history, as he helped the Raiders beat the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl XI.
A member of the Silver and Black from 1968-77, George Atkinson was a punishing safety who had a serious nose for the ball. Atkinson was an AFL All-Star through his first two seasons, and when the Raiders joined the NFL, he played a key role in them winning Super Bowl XI. With 30 career interceptions, he has had his fair share of big plays, but the hits he put on Lynn Swann, especially the one in the AFC title game, are ones that stick in the minds of Raiders fans.
A third round draft pick of the Raiders back in 1982, Vann McElroy played for the team up until the 1990 season. A Super Bowl champion, McElroy was one of the best safeties in the NFL for a long period, making it to two Pro Bowls, and being named a second-team All-Pro four times. McElroy may not be the biggest named safety in NFL history, but his spot in Raiders lore is definitely set in stone.
Mike Davis came to the Raiders in the second round of the 1977 NFL Draft, and he was with the team through their move from Oakland to Los Angeles. A starter in two Super Bowl wins for the Silver and Black, Davis had 11 interceptions in his career, but none bigger than the one he had against Cleveland in the divisional round back in 1981. Davis’ interception with the Raiders up 14-12, and the Browns in field goal range, sealed the victory for the team, and propelled them into becoming the first Wild Card team to win a Super Bowl a few weeks later.