Media puts Reggie McKenzie on blast as DJ Hayden hits PUP list
By Chase Ruttig
Sep 23, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Oakland Raiders cornerback DJ Hayden (25) after the game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos won 37-21. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
The 2013 first round selection of cornerback DJ Hayden was controversial at the time for general manager Reggie McKenzie, who took a shot on a cornerback with phenomenal athleticism in addition to eye popping numbers and tape at the University of Houston before a near death practice injury sidelined him during the final games of his senior career.
Medically cleared to play, McKenzie traded down to select Hayden over defensive tackles Star Lotulelei and Sheldon Richardson as the Raiders general manager opted to build his secondary over his defense. The move was received with mixed reviews as the majority of people wanted the big names of Richardson or Lotulelei over Hayden, which has made things complicated for McKenzie as he has been receiving a lot of blame as his 2013 first round move hasn’t panned out just yet.
Other than a strong showing against the San Diego Chargers last season there has been minimal returns on the Raiders rookie to date thanks to a sports hernia injury that sidelined him for the last half of 2013 and now a foot injury that has Hayden on the PUP list to start 2014. With the Raiders secondary shaping up to be one of the worst in the league on paper this season, media members along with Oakland fans took to Twitter this morning to question McKenzie’s pick in hindsight for another time.
McKenzie is going to take a lot of heat from detractors as long as the Raiders continue to lose, but the Hayden pick is easily the easiest target that people have when it comes to the Raiders first team builder not named Al Davis. Expect the questions and criticism to continue as long as the Raiders and Hayden continue to struggle, three years into the rebuild of the Raiders this should perhaps be expected with no progress being made.