The long-awaited arrival of the Oakland Raiders First Round Pick, CB-D.J. Hayden, is over. Head Coach Dennis Allen stated that Hayden will no longer wear the red “no-contact” jersey, effective Sunday, August 18.
Hayden has been trying to shed the jersey since he began wearing it in training camp. He was seen several times throughout the past few weeks trying to get into practice without the jersey, and he even attempted to participate in hitting drills. The fact that Hayden is not afraid to mix it up with the other players is huge considering what happened to him just 9 months ago.
With the groin injury sustained by CB-Tracy Porter in the game against the New Orleans Saints, it is a good time to get another player onto the field. Now Hayden will be given his chance to show what he was so good at in college. If he amounts to half of what he did in college, he will be a really good cornerback, but if he surpasses his college days, he will be a great cornerback. I’m hoping for him to become great, but I will take a good solid cornerback any day of the week and twice on Sunday.
Speaking of the game against the Saints, Porter didn’t have a very good outing at all, and Drew Brees went at him while the first string was on the field. It is time to get a shut-down corner back in the silver and black, and Hayden has the potential and talent to do just that. Hayden will make his NFL debut in Oakland, CA, against the Chicago Bears on Friday, August 23rd. Hopefully Raider Nation gets of glimpse into the future of the things to come for Hayden.