Las Vegas Raiders: 15 best defensive backs of all-time

Las Vegas Raiders cornerback Trayvon Mullen (27) Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Las Vegas Raiders cornerback Trayvon Mullen (27) Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /
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Oakland Raiders
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

28. . DB. (1965-70). Dave Grayson. 5. player

  • AFL All-Time Team
  • AFL Champion w/Raiders (1967)
  • 3x First-Team All-AFL w/Raiders (1965, 1968-69)
  • 3x AFL All-Star w/Raiders (1965-66, 1969)
  • AFL all-time leader in interceptions (47)
  • 29 interceptions for 624 yards in 84 games w/Raiders

To date, only two defensive backs have been enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame based primarily on their contributions to the Raiders. Soon it will be three once Charles Woodson is eligible. However, we have to wonder why Dave Grayson doesn’t have a Canton bust? He was excellent in his AFL career split between two teams.

Grayson went undrafted out of Oregon in 1961. He initially caught on with the Dallas Cowboys practice squad, but ended up playing the 1961 season in the upstart AFL for the then Dallas Texans. The Texans would eventually become the Kansas City Chiefs in 1963.

Grayson had spent his first four professional seasons with Dallas/Kansas City, winning an AFL championship in 1962, making three AFL All-Star Games, and being First-Team All-AFL in 1962 before he even arrived in Oakland.

It was with the Raiders that Grayson took his game to an even higher level. He made three AFL All-Star Games and three First-Team All-AFL squads in his six years with the Silver and Black. Known for his ability to pick the ball off, Grayson amassed 29 interceptions for 624 yards and four touchdowns in his Oakland career.

Take away his one NFL season in 1970, where he had just one interception, and you have to seriously ask yourself why Grayson isn’t in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He is a member of the AFL All-Time Team as a defensive back stalwart in two flagship organizations in that league in the Chiefs and Raiders. He is the all-time leader in AFL interceptions with 47. If that’s not Hall of Fame worthy, what is?

Grayson would retire with the Raiders after the end of the 1970 NFL season at the age of 31. He played all over the place in AFL secondaries. Safety or cornerback, it didn’t matter. Grayson was coming up with the football if a quarterback threw in his direction. A two-time AFL Champion, an all-time AFL player, that league’s greatest interceptor of passes; put him in the hall of fame!