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D.J. Hayden: How Will Raiders' Newest CB Fare in the Pros?

D.J. Hayden will instantly become the best cornerback in the Oakland Raiders' secondary.
D.J. Hayden will instantly become the best cornerback in the Oakland Raiders' secondary.Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Matt SteinCorrespondent IIApril 25, 2013

The Oakland Raiders drafted cornerback D.J. Hayden with the 12th pick of the 2013 NFL draft. Not only is Hayden one of the draft's best stories, but he is also one of the top cornerbacks available this year.


Pro Outlook

Hayden came back from a near-fatal injury to put together a great season for the Houston Cougars. Hayden has the makings of a shutdown cornerback with his great combination of speed, athleticism and ball skills.

He's got a knack for making big plays as evidenced by his five forced fumbles during his junior season. At 5'11", Hayden has the size to handle bigger receivers in the NFL. His incredible open-field quickness also makes him extremely dangerous with the ball in his hands.

The Raiders got a day-one starting cornerback in Hayden.


Fantasy Outlook

Drafting Hayden isn't going to do much in terms of boosting the Raiders' defense in terms of fantasy football. His playmaking ability could bring some extra points, but Hayden's selection doesn't have a huge impact to fantasy football.


Roster Outlook

Not only will Hayden start instantly for the Raiders, but he'll also be responsible for covering the opposing teams' best receiver. He'll definitely have a huge responsibility on his shoulders right away.


Pick Analysis

The Raiders haven't had a first-round pick since 2010, and they made a fantastic choice with Hayden. They were able to move back from the No. 3 spot and still get an elite player who should improve their defense from day one.

Grade: A+

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