Raiders camp preview: Return of Tyvon Branch is huge

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Today we take a look at the safeties that the Oakland Raiders currently have on roster as we head into training camp. Tyvon Branch is entering his seventh season in the NFL, all of which have been with the Raiders. During the 2008 NFL Draft, Branch was selected in the fourth round. Over the course of his career in silver and black, Branch has totaled 446 tackles, seven sacks, has defended 19 passes, and also has logged four interceptions, three forced fumbles, and four fumble recoveries. Branch missed the bulk of 2013 due to injury.

Jonathan Dowling joins the Raiders’ roster after being drafted in the seventh round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Dowling played two seasons at Western Kentucky where he totaled 135 tackles, nine interceptions, defended 14 passes, and also forced eight fumbles.

Shelton Johnson joins the Silver and Black as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Wisconsin. Johnson was signed in 2013 and spent most of that season on the practice squad. He was signed to the active roster in December of 2013 and saw action in four games where he logged four tackles and a fumble recovery.

Brandian Ross is entering his third season in the NFL and was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Green Bay Packers in 2011. Ross spent the 2011 season on the Packers practice squad before being signed to the Raiders’ active roster in September of 2012. During the 30 games that Ross has played, he has recorded 95 tackles, two sacks, has defended three passes, and also forced one fumble.

Charles Woodson, veteran free safety, will be entering his 17th season in the NFL and his tenth in silver and black. The Raiders drafted Woodson in the 1998 NFL Draft. He played for the Raiders until 2005 and then joined the Packers for seven seasons. Raider Nation will remember in 2013 when the fan base flooded the Alameda facility to welcome Woodson back to the Raiders.

His 2013 season saw a total of 97 tackles. His career totals are 816 tackles, 19 sacks, 122 defended passes, 56 interceptions for 11 touchdowns, 27 forced fumbles, and 12 fumble recoveries.

And last, but not least, the Raiders also have Usama Young on roster. He is heading into his eighth NFL season and his second with the Raiders. The New Orleans Saints originally drafted him in the third round of the 2007 NFL Draft. Young remained with the Saints for four years before moving on to the Cleveland Browns. His career totals are 255 tackles, five sacks, 25 passes defended, eight interceptions, and four fumble recoveries.

It’s always great to see what veteran expertise Woodson has to share with the younger players every year. It will be nice to see a healthy Branch and will be interesting to see what Dowling can bring to the Raiders in his transition from college football to professional football. The long awaited moment is here, Raider Nation! Yesterday was filled with pictures of the Raiders arriving at Napa. Raiders football is upon us!