2013 NFL Draft: Oakland Raiders Select D.J. Hayden at No. 12

By Josh Walfish

The Oakland Raiders turned some heads with the selection of D.J. Hayden at No. 12.

The cornerback out of Houston was a great player, but his health is a big issue. The fact he is even still alive is a miracle after tearing the vein that carries blood from the lower half of the body. However, the question is can he regain the form that made him such a threat at Houston.Hayden is quick and will be great in man-to-man defense, but his size is not great and there are still questions about how he will translate to the NFL game.

It is a controversial pick because Oakland had more pressing needs, most notably defensive tackle, and there were plenty of better players on the board. The Raiders could have, and probably should have, drafted Sharrif Floyd or Star Lotulelei at the spot and addressed the bigger need. There were many other options and Reggie McKenzie better hope this pick pans out for the Raiders.

My big issue with the pick is Oakland signed Mike Jenkins and Tracy Porter, presumably to start at cornerback. Hayden will challenge them for that spot, but it was not the biggest need. The Raiders have enough cornerbacks to have taken one in round two or three, but now they risk not getting a quality defensive tackle in this draft. Oakland cannot afford to let the depth in the middle of its defensive line remain this poor, so McKenzie better find someone who will be able to plug that gap soon.

I give this selection a B.


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