Sitting near the top of the board in the first round, Oakland unsurprisingly, decided to trade down. They swapped with Miami and assumed the No. 12 spot, where most thought they’d take a defensive tackle. The Raiders were in clear need of help on the defensive line, after giving up 118 yards per game on the ground and finishing second to last, with only 25 sacks in 2012.
Most analysts had Sharrif Floyd slotted to Oakland at No. 3, and they thought for sure they’d take him at No. 12. The Raiders then pulled off a move only they could, and went with cornerback D. J. Hayden. The DB out of Houston was projected to go in the second round for talent reasons, not to mention, that he’s coming off of a life-threatening injury.
Maybe, Oakland reaches a couple of spots for Xaiver Rhodes, but an entire round for the ‘boom or bust’ Hayden? I just don’t get the logic. It would be one thing if corner was a dyer need for the team, but it’s not. The defensive line needed to benefit from that first round pick, but instead, they waited until the sixth round to add a player to the d-line.
For a team that needs to start building a s0lid foundation, Hayden is not a safe pick. That’s what the Raiders needed, a solid ‘can’t go wrong’ pick, not a pick they might hit a home run with.
Hayden no doubt has a lot of potential, but he was not a smart choice at No. 12. The Raiders should have taken one of the top available DTs, and worried about corner, later in the draft.
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