D.J. Hayden finds a role
Hayden is not listed as the starter on the depth chart, but he will find his work in the slot.
It appears Hayden has finally found a role on the Raiders defense, after being drafted in the first-round four years ago. He had to fight for the spot with last year’s other day one starter T.J. Carrie.
“Inside, you’ve got to kind of come at it at a different approach because [receivers have] got so much field to work with,” Hayden said at the time. “They put me out there and I just started getting after it. I like it. I like it a lot.”
Defensive backs coach Marcus Robertson is also intrigued with Hayden’s growth over this offseason. He attributes it to Hayden’s love for football, as well as him finally getting healthy.
“Now he’s been on the field for almost two years now, so now I think he’s really starting to consistently see the ballgame exactly the same and starting to understand how offenses attack defenses. Understand what his responsibilities are, what his job is inside the defense.” Roberston said via ESPN.com.
In the end, this is a prove it year for Hayden who is in the final year of his deal. Let’s see if he can finally blossom into a solid NFL player.
Next: Undrafted rookies