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Raider combine top performers: Defensive back

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The NFL scouting combine is upon us. Where NFL hopefuls are invited to show off their skills. For years, this event has been watched closely by the Raiders. Al Davis loved his freakish athletes.

This is the first installment of Raiders combine top performers. And it is only fitting that we start with Al Davis' favorite position: Defensive back.

The Raiders have drafted many defensive backs who excelled in their combine workouts. Here are a few of the top performers:

Safety Michael Huff had a combine best Broad Jump (10'5") and Vertical jump (40.5") in 2006. He also ran a 4.31 40 yard dash and did 21 reps on the bench press. These numbers plus being on the Texas National Championship team had the Raiders taking him with the seventh overall pick.

Cornerback Fabian Washington clocked an overall 4.29 in the 40 yard dash and ran it as fast as 4.25 and blew away scouts with his long-range speed. Washington also had an eye-popping 10-foot-9-inch broad jump. These numbers got the Raiders attention and they traded up into the first round to get him.

In that same 2005 combine, cornerback Stanford Routt also had an impressive showing. He and Washington both are tied for the 7th best 40 yard dash all time at 4.29. The Raiders chose Routt a few picks later, in round two.

Safety Tyvon Branch was running as a cornerback in the 2008 combine and had the best 40 yard dash time among them (4.31). He was behind only running back Chris Johson (4.24) for fastest in the entire combine. The Raiders got a steal when they took Branch in round four that year.

Last year's draft saw another speedster in the combine get drafted by the Raiders-- CB DeMarcus Van Dyke who bested his DB Raiders predecessors by tying for the third best 40 time in combine history at 4.28.

Outside of position drills, how important do you think these drills are in measuring a prospective NFL player?