According to Tim Kawakami of the Contra Costa Times, Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie has ‘raised some eyebrows’ of executives around the league on some personnel choices.
With the first selection of his career, McKenzie rolled the dice big time after trading down twice and the selecting D.J. Hayden, a player whose health was in question then and more now after being injured participating in OTA’s.
McKenzie comes from a rock solid background having worked with Green Bay's GM Ted Thompson, but unlike the talent loaded Packers, the Raiders need players who can contribute right away.
If Hayden is unable to participate in training camp or miss the 2013 season, which is a real possibility, McKenzie is sure to take heavy fire for the move with so many players on the board.
The move seemed like ‘I am smarter and want everyone to know it’ type maneuvers new GM’s make to try to separate themselves from the newness of the job.
However, taking a safe pick may not make people jump for joy, but if he misses, Raiders fans might need a ticket in order to jump off that proverbial cliff.
‘There is not a great amount of league-wide confidence in new QB Matt Flynn, is what I'm saying. Or Terrelle Pryor. Or Tyler Wilson (at this point -- though he's an interesting talent, for sure, down the road). Another point: Hayden is a large talent; if he was 100% healthy, he really might've been a true top-3 guy in the 2013 draft. But he is not 100% healthy. With the chance to draft Star Lotulelei, Jarvis Jones, Kenny Vaccaro or Eric Reid... McKenzie (who traded down from the 3 slot) rolled the dice on Hayden, and now Hayden's availability for training camp and/or the 2013 season becomes a major part of the McKenzie evaluation. The point is this: With a roster that desperately needs an influx of difference-making talent, how could McKenzie risk his highest draft pick to date on a player with this much of a health question mark?’