2013 – Pick 12: D.J. Hayden, DB, Houston
The 2013 NFL Draft was a significant one for GM Reggie McKenzie because it was his first one with a first or even second round pick. The Raiders originally had the third pick but traded down with the Miami Dolphins so they could select, ironically enough, current Raiders defensive end Dion Jordan.
The Raiders used the 12th pick to select Houston Cougars DB D.J. Hayden and it was a controversial pick due to a terrifying injury he suffered in practice that required open heart surgery. Despite the injury concerns many scouts and draft analysts had Hayden as a top-five corner in the draft but he never quite lived up to the hype.
Hayden spent four injury plagued years in Oakland and was not very consistent when he was healthy. It became clear quickly that Hayden was outmatched as an outside corner and given his modest success as a nickel corner for the Detroit Lions and Jacksonville Jaguars in recent years perhaps that was his natural position all along.
Two other corner backs were drafted in the first round after Hayden in Xavier Rhodes and Desmond Trufant, both of whom have been named to the Pro Bowl in their careers and would have been a massive upgrade over the former Houston Cougar.