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Originally published on SBReport.net on April 25, 2013
The Raiders traded back nine spots with the Miami Dolphins, obtained a second-round draft pickand still got their man: D.J. Hayden.
Rumors surfaced Thursday morning that Reggie McKenzie wanted the cornerback out of the University of Houston, but picking him at number three seemed like a stretch. Instead, the Raiders general manager accumulated a valuable pick for tomorrow's round while still getting the man he desired.
Hayden entered the draft being regarded as the best corner in the league my NFL Network's Mike Mayock.
The 5-foot-11, 191-pound corner possess stellar footwork and quickness that allows him to be a man corner capabilities both in the slot or on the outside. He shows great instinct and ability to jump routes and create turnovers.
Hayden played in a shortened season last year because of a freak accident that tore a large vein of his, forcing him to only play nine games.
In the nine games played, Hayden tallied eight pass breakups, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, and four interceptions, to go along with two touchdowns.
The year before, Hayden had a breakout year with 11 passes defensed, two interceptions and five forced fumbles, earning himself Conference USA's Defensive Newcomer of the Year honors.
Hayden fits what seems to be Reggie's mold. He is a tough player that won't give up on a play until it's over. His toughness gives him an edge when going up and fighting for the ball against receivers.
The Raiders previously drafted University of Houston's Stanford Routt in the second round of the 2005 NFL Draft.