Las Vegas Raiders: 50 greatest players in franchise history

A video board displays an Al Davis quote (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
A video board displays an Al Davis quote (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /
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Charles Woodson, Oakland Raiders
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

4. player. 28. . DB. Michigan Wolverines. Charles Woodson

The Raiders have historically had a knack for drafting former Heisman Trophy winners. Fortunately, that has been to the boon of the Silver and Black. So it’s only natural that Heisman Trophy-winning cornerback Charles Woodson for the Michigan Wolverines would have tremendous NFL success in Raiders uniform.

The Raiders used the No. 4 overall pick on the 1997 Heisman winner in the 1998 NFL Draft. Woodson was named Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1998, earning his first of four straight Pro Bowl nods. He made his first two of four All-Pro first teams in Raiders uniform in 1999 and 2001. While he would help the Raiders get to Super Bowl XXXVII, his career would require a bit of a reboot during his time with the Green Bay Packers.

Initially reluctant to play for the Packers, Woodson would go on to have his best seasons in Green Bay. Woodson spent seven seasons in the middle of his career with the Packers from 2006 to 2012. He led the NFL in interceptions twice, made two All-Pro first teams, was named Defensive Player of the Year in 2009 and helped Green Bay win Super Bowl XLV. After four more Pro Bowl appearances, Woodson would return to the Bay Area in 2013.

In his last year in the pros, Woodson would make his ninth career Pro Bowl. What made this one so special is that he did it at a new position of safety at age 39. Woodson was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2021, getting in on the first ballot. For now, he continues to do excellent work for ESPN in the NFL coverage.