4. DJ Hayden
Coming out of the University of Houston, the Raiders drafted DJ Hayden with the 12th overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft. Originally with the 3rd overall pick, the Raiders traded back with the Dolphins to 12 and acquired their 42nd overall pick as well. Hayden was Reggie McKenzie‘s first 1st round pick as GM of the Oakland Raiders and many people were mixed about taking Hayden that high.
It came out later that McKenzie loved him enough to take him at that 3rd overall spot even if the trade back hadn’t happened. Ironically enough the player that the Dolphins used at that number 3 spot, Dion Jordan, is currently on the Raiders roster.
There was a lot expected out of DJ Hayden. After surviving a life threatening injury to a vein in his heart that he had during practice at Houston, Hayden spent his time proving he was coming into the league with a clean bill of health. A month after being drafted by the Raiders he was in the hospital getting scar tissue cleaned up from his previous surgery.
Hayden never lived up to the hype on the field for Oakland. In his 4 years with the Raiders, he never had a season where he recorded more then 1 interception. Hayden was brought in to be a cornerstone to a Raiders secondary that was in the process of rebuilding.
The biggest issue that still sticks with us is that Hayden seemed to be the final straw for Raider Nation when it came to cornerbacks drafted in the first round. After seeing previous ones like Fabian Washington and Phillip Buchanon turn into busts as well, Hayden needed to be the one to change the mold.
Couple that with him being the Raiders next shot at a first round pick since Rolando McClain in 2010 (No 2011/2012 first round picks, but more on that later), this had to be a must hit pick. It clearly did not pan out and has scarred the hearts of Raider Nation to this day.