Don’t Fret, Raiders Fans, DJ Hayden Was the Right Pick

The Oakland Raiders are in the midst of a massive rebuilding project under general manager Reggie McKenzie, and many fans of the team were hoping that McKenzie was going to get an impact player with the third overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft.

Some of those same fans, as well as some members of the media, have questioned the Raiders' decision to first trade back in the first round and then take a player who very nearly died several months ago.

Well, that segment of Raider Nation needs to take a deep breath and just relax, because the selection of Houston cornerback D.J. Hayden was a solid pick by McKenzie.

First off, there's no disputing that the secondary was a huge area of need. Before the acquisition of Hayden, the Raiders' projected starters at cornerback in 2013 were Tracy Porter and Mike Jenkins.

Porter is a decent cornerback, but he missed nearly the entire 2012 season due to an unexplained seizure he had while a member of the Denver Broncos. Doctors still haven't figured out why he had it, and there's no guarantee it won't happen again, although Porter told the Raiders' website recently that he's "100 percent."

The other starter, Mike Jenkins, ranked 94th among NFL cornerbacks in 2012, according to Pro Football Focus. He was burned so many times in Dallas that he had to start wearing a fire-retardant jersey.

OK, maybe I made that last part up, but you get my point.

In a pass-heavy NFL and a division where the Raiders play Peyton Manning twice a year, that duo isn't going to cut it.

Second, in trading back the Raiders were able to add a second-round pick, recouping the one the team surrendered in the disastrous trade for quarterback Carson Palmer. the Raiders parlayed that pick into Florida State tackle Menelik Watson, bolstering an offensive line that needed a boost.

Some have bemoaned the fact that a second-round pick was "all" the Raiders got for dropping ni...

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