With players reporting to 2013 Raiders Training Camp Thursday it was a near guarantee that we were going to see the Raiders unsigned draft picks come to deals with the team as it wasn’t reported that first round draft pick D.J. Hayden and second round pick Menelik Watson were going to hold out, meaning that all ten of the Raiders 2013 draft picks would most likely be signed by Thursday afternoon.
With Watson reaching terms on Wednesday, The Raiders have reached a contract agreement with cornerback D.J. Hayden, their first-round pick as reports surfaced on Thursday. Coupled with the Watson agreement and the signing of quarterback Tyler Wilson earlier in the week, Reggie McKenzie made sure each of his rookies were locked up with the clock ticking before the start of camp.
The No. 12 overall pick out of Houston, Hayden will vie to start right off the bat for the Raiders who have made big changes to their secondary in the offseason. In addition to drafting Hayden in Round One, the Raiders added Charles Woodson at safety and veteran cornerbacks Tracy Porter and Mike Jenkins, Hayden’s addition will be the one most Raider fans will have an eye on however as the team undergoes a rebuilding process and Hayden remains one of their brightest prospects.
Hayden is blessed with all the tools you would want in a cornerback prospect. 4.33 40 speed, a reputation as a shutdown corner while at Houston where he led the team to an undefeated record in 2011, and the ability to wrap up wide receivers if they do end up getting the ball, with 52 solo tackles in his junior year and five forced fumbles. An startling life threatening injury cut Hayden’s senior season short, but he still registered 38 solo tackles and five interceptions in just nine games.
Hayden had abdominal surgery in May, but head coach Dennis Allen indicated in June that the club expected him to be ready for training camp.
As a senior at the University of Houston, Hayden suffered a serious blood vessel injury, but he recovered, and he was widely regarded as one of the top cornerbacks available in the Class of 2013. Injury woes aside, Raider Nation will be excited now that Hayden is officially a member of the Silver and Black.