There were plenty of fans that were excited with the players their respective teams were able to pick up, but other fans were completely shocked by who their teams took.
The first round of the NFL draft featured plenty of exciting names, but there were more than a few that got snubbed. Rather than some of the bigger names being taken on Thursday, there were a few head-scratchers that were taken. These guys were good prospects, but expected to go in either the second or third rounds.
Oakland Raiders – D.J. Hayden, CB, Houston
This one of the earlier reaches in the draft, and left some draft experts confused. With names like Desmond Trufant and Xavier Rhodes still available, it was a bit of a shock to see the Raiders to take Hayden with the 12th overall pick.
Hayden missed a lot of last year due to a horrific injury involving a torn vena cava, which is one of the largest veins in the human body. It was an injury that is almost always fatal, but Hayden somehow survived it.
Before the injury, Hayden was considered a pretty solid prospect. He was very fast for a defensive back, and used that to keep up with receivers in man coverage.
However, his average size and life-threatening injury should have made him potentially a second- or third-round pick. Instead, the Raiders felt that he was the best available corner on the board, and made the decision to bring him in.
Chicago Bears – Kyle Long, OG, Oregon
When the Bears came up with the 20th pick, many were thinking that they would bring in an inside linebacker like Manti Te’o to replace Brian Urlacher. Instead, they brought in a guy to protect Jay Cutler, even if they could have potentially taken him with their second-round selection.
Kyle is the son of Howie Long and the brother of Chris Long, so there is certainly some talent in this family. He has size and length to be a solid interior lineman.
However, Long is relatively inexperienced due to playing only a single season at Oregon. Before he played with the Ducks, he was at Saddleback Junior College and played there for two seasons.
Bringing in someone to protect Cutler makes sense, but Long is certainly a reach. With another pick in the second round, the Bears very well could have held off until then. Instead, they got their guy now, even if it was quite a reach.
Dallas Cowboys – Travis Frederick, C, Wisconsin
This was by far the biggest reach of the night, and Cowboys fans are not happy with Jerry Jones and the rest of the organization.
It was true that the Cowboys needed some help on the offensive line. However, there were also some concerns at safety as well as the defensive line. With names like Matt Elam and Cornellius Carradine still on the board, taking Frederick was quite a shock.
Frederick and Barrett Jones were regarded as the top two centers by many. However, Frederick isn’t a quick guy and struggles as a puller and can stumble when blocking in traffic. As a best-case scenario, Frederick could have been considered a late second-round pick.
Unfortunately for Cowboys fans, Jerry Jones is still in charge and it doesn’t look like he’s giving up his power anytime soon. Until the season starts, fans will continue to be upset with such a surprising first-round selection.
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