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20 years ago today Charles Woodson became Jon Gruden’s first ever draft selection as Raiders head coach

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Charles Woodson

Raiders fans knew it when it happened. The moment NFL commissioner took to the podium and announced “With the 4th overall pick in the 1998 draft, the Oakland Raiders have selected defensive back, University of Michigan, Charles Woodson” the Raider fans in attendance roared with approval and immediately began chanting “Woodson! Woodson! Woodson!”

Now 20 years later, Woodson is just two years removed from and 18-year Hall of Fame career, spending 11 of those years in Oakland and 7 in Green Bay.

Woodson was Jon Gruden’s first ever draft pick as an NFL head coach. As the only ever primarily defensive Heisman Trophy winner, Woodson was about as can’t miss a pick as you’ll ever see, making his selection an easy one.

Peyton Manning went first overall to the Colts, followed by Ryan Leaf to the Chargers, and then Andre Wadsworth to the Cardinals. Those picks served Woodson up to the Raiders on a Silver & Black platter.

In a week’s time, Gruden will be once again sitting in the ‘war room’ as Raiders head coach ready to make the team’s selection at 10th overall.

With 4 quarterbacks expected to go at the top of the draft, there will be some impressive talent that will be available when the Raiders are on the board at 10. Not Charles Woodson level talent, but they’ll make do.