Aug 22, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Charles Johnson (12) catches a pass past Oakland Raiders cornerback D.J. Hayden (25) for a touchdown in the second quarter at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
D.J. Hayden and Trent Richardson Continue to Struggle in the Spotlight
After highlighting a few bright spots from Oakland’s outing in Minnesota, it’s time to recognize a couple of players that added Saturday’s performance to their list of disappointing performances this preseason.
Former 2013 first-round pick D.J. Hayden simply did not have a good game against Minnesota’s first team offense.
Over the course of the game Hayden allowed Vikings receiver Charles Johnson, a former seventh-round pick out of Grand Valley State University, to bring in four receptions for 40 yards and a touchdown in just the first half of the game.
On the score, Hayden failed to get his hands on him at the line of scrimmage to adjust his route and allowed Johnson to get behind him. As the ball came out of Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater’s hands, Hayden didn’t get his head around to make a play on the ball, resulting in a 14-yard touchdown pass to Johnson.
In a post game interview head coach Jack Del Rio said Hayden has “OK” coverage on the touchdown play.
Hayden also committed an illegal-contact penalty on a third-down that would have halted Minnesota’s first drive of the game if the flag was not thrown. On the following play Hayden allowed a 14-yard pass to Johnson for another first down.
On the Vikings’ second drive of the game linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong made a nice tackle on Kyle Rudolph to force a fourth down for the offense, but Hayden consequently allowed Johnson to pick up the first down on an 11-yard curl route on fourth-down.
Though Hayden is under a lot of pressure, as he has continued to not live up to his first-round expectations, he still struggled to play well in critical situations. Bridgewater and the Vikings consistently targeted Hayden after he had made a mistake or on big downs, and he consistently gave them what they wanted.
Another former first-round pick on the Raiders’ roster, running back Trent Richardson, is also failing to live up to high-expectations in a Raider uniform.
With Oakland’s backup running back situation still unclear, Richardson was brought in as a free agent on a two-year, $3,850,000 contract in order to be added to the competition behind Murray. Now two games into the preseason, Richardson might be lucky to even make the final roster given his recent performances.
Richardson continues to show that he lacks ideal vision in the backfield and simply doesn’t have the explosive running style he had when he entered the league. He struggles to make people miss in the open field and has struggled be even an effective short yardage back.
Richardson earned just five yards on five attempts against Minnesota.
Next: Edwards Jr. Proves Himself