Found April 26, 2013 on Thoughts from the Dark Side:
The Oakland Raiders took former Houston cornerback last night, using the No 12 overall selection to get him. According to respected evaluator Greg Cosell, of NFL Films, that was a good move. "I would make the argument that Hayden is the most physically gifted corner prospect in this draft class, with his impressive combination of sudden movement, change of direction, ability to effectively play both press man and off coverage zone, competitive and challenging playing personality and, as an added dimension, his willingness to support in the run game aggressively," Cosell said of Hayden in this must read article about cornerbacks in the NFL (finish this piece, first, then go back and read his). In the piece referenced above, Cosell delves into what attributes make a good cornerback in the NFL these days.  He also talks about the importance of having a cornerback that can play in man to man coverage. The basic thrust of his arguments are that a huge cornerback isn't necessarily the most desirable trait.  While that type of cornerback is better against some types of receivers, the most important attributes are "quick and light feet, smooth and fluid change of direction, the ability to plant and drive with burst from off coverage position, and the capability to turn and run with both short area acceleration and functional long speed to defend vertical routes." He postulates that most cornerbacks with those traits are shorter and sleeker instead of the larger cornerbacks that many would see as the prototypical size. Cosell is my favorite evaluator because he takes the time to explain his reasoning and because he isn't caught into the group think to which so many succumb.  He doesn't rely on organizational sources to determine his opinion as do so many draft evaluators.  Instead, he watches lots of game tape and makes his own determinations. That game tape review convinced him that Hayden deserved to be the top cornerback taken in the 2013 draft.  In fact, in his first-round mock draft Cosell picked Hayden to be selected at No. 12 overall, although he had Hayden being selected by the Miami Dolphins, who originally possessed that selection. In his reasoning, Cosell said about Hayden, "No corner has a more fluid and compact backpedal, with balance, body control and the quickest feet of any prospect in the draft." Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie agreed, telling the Bay Area media yesterday, "Point blank, he can cover. He can find the football so he does what we’re looking for in a cornerback – he’s a good cover corner who can get his hands on the football.” Raiders fans hope that McKenzie - and Cosell, too - know what they're talking about. If they are correct in the evaluation of Hayden, the Raiders have begun the process of building a team that can finally compete. For more thoughts on the Raiders throughout the draft today tomorrow, follow me on Twitter @AsherMathews

Raiders involved in several talks to move down in NFL Draft

Oakland Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie had said the team wasn’t actively shopping their no. 3 pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. However, if a team dangles enough bait, even the stingiest have to give in. McKenzie has operated straight out of his mentor's mold, Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson on how to make sound financial moves over overpaying for big names. It seems...

NFL Draft Day 3: Raiders Select Seven New Players

Heading into the 2013 NFL Draft, the Oakland Raiders had seven selections to work with. But thanks to three trade downs performed by general manager Reggie McKenzie and his crew, this year’s draft class brings ten new players to the Silver & Black. Seven of those were selected during the third day of the process, which held rounds four to [...]

Oakland Raiders Second Round Pick Menelik Watson Has Huge Upside

I was a little surprised that Reggie McKenzie passed on a defensive lineman with this pick but Florida State offensive tackle Menelik Watson does help improve the Raiders porous offensive line. Watson is an all-world athlete who has competed in Soccer, Basketball, and Boxing before picking up Football a few years ago. The Raiders right tackle play has been atrocious for the last...

Raiders almost took D.J. Hayden with the third pick

According to Michael Silver of Yahoo! Sports, the Oakland Raiders were two minutes away from drafting cornerback D.J. Hayden with the third overall pick.    Right before they pulled the trigger, the Dolphins called them to trade up to nab Dion Jordan. The Raiders ultimately took a risk by trading down, but they were still able to get Hayden. When Oakland Raiders general manager...

Raiders could be targeting Matt Barkley in round two

According to Bill Williamson of, there’s been a lot of chatter that the Oakland Raiders may take USC quarterback with the 42nd overall pick. #Raiders hearing a lot of Matt Barkley chatter at 42. Reggie was at his pro day. Don’t know how I feel about that one yet. — Bill Williamson (@espn_afcwest) April 26, 2013 I could see this happening.  I don’t think the Raiders...

NFL Draft Day 2: Raiders select Menelik Watson and Sio Moore

After going with cornerback D.J. Hayden in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft on Thursday, the Oakland Raiders went back to work on the second day of the player selection process with two picks to work with. Differently from what happened yesterday, the Silver & Black stayed put and did not negotiated any of the selections. Instead, they [...]

Raiders draft QB Tyler Wilson

The Oakland Raiders used their 4th round pick on Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson in this year’s draft. Wilson is a guy that can come in and compete for the Raiders tarting job with Terrelle Pryor and Matt Flynn.   Need NFL Tickets? The post Raiders draft QB Tyler Wilson appeared first on Pro Football Zone.

Raiders take RB Latavius Murray in 6th round

The Oakland Raiders have selected Central Florida running back Latavius Murray with their second pick in the sixth round of the NFL draft. Oakland took Murray 181st overall on Saturday with a pick acquired earlier in the day from Tampa Bay for moving down in the fourth round. Murray rushed for 1,106 yards on 198 carries with 15 touchdowns last season. He also caught 27 passes for...

Grade the Oakland Raiders 2013 NFL Draft

(12th overall) D.J. Hayden (Draft Profile) (42nd overall)  Menelik Watson (Draft Profile) (66th overall) Sio Moore (Draft Profile) (112th overall) Tyler Wilson (Draft Profilel (172nd overall) Nick Kasa (Draft Profile) (181st overall) Latavius Murray (Draft Profile) (184th overall) Mychal Rivera (Draft Profile) (205th overall) Stacy McGee (Draft Profile) (209th overall) Brice Butler...

Raiders use 42nd pick to select OT Menelik Watson

The Raiders addressed their needs on the offensive line by drafting Florida State offensive tackle Menelik Watson with the 42nd pick of Friday’s second round of the draft. This was the second pick Oakland got from Miami in exchange for the third pick on Thursday. Watson played on the right side of the line at FSU, so it seems as if Mr. Universe Jared Veldheer will remain at left...

NFL Draft: Raiders 2013 draft recap

Here’s a recap and analysis of the players the Raiders took in the 2013 NFL Draft: D.J. Hayden, cornerback, Houston – first round, 12th overall – Reggie McKenzie trades down to get his guy. Seen as the cornerback of the future. Will compete with Tracy Porter and Mike Jenkins to start. Menelik Watson, offensive tackle, Florida State – second round, 42nd overall – Extremely...

Report: Raiders looking to move down to target CB D.J. Hayden

We reported yesterday that the Oakland Raiders are the most likely team to trade down in the first round of tonight’s NFL draft. According to, the Raiders are targeting Houston cornerback D.J. Hayden if they’re able to move down. Even though the Raiders signed Tracy Porter and Mike Jenkins this offseason, they need a good young corner to build their secondary...

Raiders Trade Down, Take Cornerback DJ Hayden With 12th Pick

The Oakland Raiders in a cost cutting measure traded down nine spots and took Houston cornerback DJ Hayden with the 12th pick.  The Raiders swapped picks with the Dolphins for their first and second round picks, numbers twelve and 42 overall. DJ Hayden began playing collegiately at Navarro College before transferring to Houston as a junior. He won the Conference USA award of defensive...

Oakland Raiders under Reggie McKenzie continue to target foreign players

One of the more amusing connections between the players that GM Reggie McKenzie has drafted in his first two years has been that almost half of the players drafted were born in foreign countries. Last year's draft included two such players - England's Jack Crawford and and Angola's Christo Bilukidi. The trend continued yesterday when both of Reggie McKenzie'...

Oakland Raiders Second Round Pick Menelik Watson Has Huge Upside

  I was a little surprised that Reggie McKenzie passed on a defensive lineman with this pick but Florida State offensive tackle Menelik Watson does help improve the Raiders porous offensive line. Watson is an all-world athlete who has competed in Soccer, Basketball, and Boxing before picking up Football a few years ago. The Raiders right tackle play has been atrocious for the last...
NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.