2013 NFL Draft: Oakland Raiders to pick D.J. Hayden?

By Jonathan Comeaux
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

According to CBS Sports, the Oakland Raiders are prepared to draft cornerback D.J. Hayden with the third overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, if they can’t find a trade partner.

It is a strong claim, as Hayden was originally rated as the No. 2 corner behind Dee Milliner. However, with the recent headlines that Milliner will start the season on the PUP list and having had five surgeries performed on him while at Alabama, Hayden is bursting up draft boards.

Hayden has been the only player that has been consistently linked to the Raiders this off-season, so doubting Oakland’s interest in him would be a mistake. Hayden awed onlookers during his workouts and could certainly go in the top 10. The Philadelphia Eagles at No. 4, Detroit Lions at No. 5 and Cleveland Browns at No. 6 all have needs at CB, and the Browns and Lions were popular destination spots for Milliner in various mock drafts.

With Oakland signing CBs Tracy PorterMike Jenkins and re-signing Phillip Adams, many Raiders fans believed the defensive backfield situation was resolved. When you take into factor the dearth of depth Oakland has scattered throughout the offensive and defensive lines, drafting a corner would appear to be peculiar to many people.

Hayden may very well turn out to be an incredible player, but where is CB set in their list of priorities as compared to other positions?

DT Sharrif Floyd was the undisputed favorite for the Raiders to land heading into today. Who knows, all this chatter could be all smoke and mirrors in attempt to gain trade interest.

Right now, the Browns and Lions have been linked as trade partners to Oakland. GM Reggie McKenzie stated the Raiders will go after “the surest of the sure” today. Right now, it appears Hayden is that guy.

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