Oakland Raiders: Complete 2013 NFL Draft Wrap-Up and Analysis

After allowing for a day of recovery and letting it all settle in, here is my take on how the Oakland Raiders did in the 2013 NFL draft.

Understand, I don't give grades until after a season is played. It is absolutely pointless to grade picks without any gauge of production or performance. It is also important to have a better understanding of the players with a little film study and idea of how they may be asked to contribute. 

Oakland managed to turn seven picks into 10 overall with trades in the first, fourth and sixth rounds. With the huge chasm created by the team's roster turnover, there is a real possibility that multiple starters could have been found in this draft. Whether that speaks to the lack of options on the roster or Reggie McKenzie's drafting remains to be seen.

So from the top, let's start with the first pick.


D.J. Hayden.

If there is one thing that I like about this pick, it is that there will be zero doubt about Hayden's desire to play pro football. You all know the story. He almost died after a freak collision in practice while at the University of Houston. An injury that kills 95 percent of those who suffer it did not kill D.J. Hayden. Instead, he recovered, regained his strength and displayed great tools at the NFL combine. 

Perhaps the best thing he has going for him on the field is that Hayden plays with great instincts. The Raiders have not drafted a player with these kinds of ball skills since Charles Woodson in 1998. The question is not can he play, because scouts are nearly unanimous in that belief. 

No, the real question is how Hayden returns from his near-death experience. The odds of this happening again are so remote it is not even worth mentioning. So the idea that he might die on the field as some have suggested is patently ridiculous. What is important is will his great play in Conference USA and select games against teams...

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