FanPost

What Should Have Happened April 25, 2013

Lets take a look back at last year’s draft, I know its might seem like odd timing, but because of D.J. Hayden’s latest injury, I wanted to see what maybe the Raiders could have done differently last year in the first round only. The only productive player makers outside of round one, when I say playmakers I mean players that had an immediate impact on their team not project or development players, were Eddie Lacy, Tyrann Mathieu, Kennan Allen, Kiko Alonso and Zac Stacy so I won’t talk about them.

These were the four cornerbacks drafted in the first round, Dee Milliner (#9 to the Jets), D.J. Hayden (#12 to the Raiders), Desmond Trufant (#22 to the Falcons) and Xavier Rhodes (#23 to the Vikings).

Name

Games Played

Games Started

Tackles

Interceptions

Passes Defended

Milliner

13

12

56

3

17

Hayden

8

2

26

1

2

Trufant

16

16

70

2

17

Rhodes

13

6

48

0

10

There was no doubt that Milliner was the best cornerback in this class and he did more in less games then Trufant. Rhodes had a pretty decent rookie season as well. I think the argument comes down to the fact that Hayden was the third and maybe even fourth best cornerback in this round. At the rate Hayden was going if he had played more games he would have probably had more tackles, but in terms of pass defense it looks like he struggled mightily. I watched the games as well and I know for a fact he did struggle. Now I’m not trying to shit on the man, his story is incredible, but it brings me to back to my question, what could have the Raiders done differently in the first round? D.J. Hayden wasn't even the best cornerback available.

They make the trade back no matter what because they wanted one of the two offensive linemen so that leaves us at 12. I feel like it comes down to two players Kyle Long or Star Lotulelei. The Kyle Long pick is there because lets assume the Raiders would have made more of an effort to re-sign Veldheer, then we have the foundation to have a great line for the next four to five years. That’s two pro-bowl caliber offensive lineman.

I call bullshit on anyone who says that Sheldon Richardson was the highest rated defensive tackle out of him, Shariff Floyd and Star Lotulelei. In fact, looking back if my memory serves correctly, Floyd was the highest rated defensive tackle out of the three. I feel it should have been Star Lotulelei. I would love to know the Raiders reasoning for passing on him for D.J. Hayden, it couldn’t have been health related because Hayden was coming off heart surgery. They needed a cornerback, but looking at what they passed up in Lotulelei, who became an instant boost and helped make that defensive line into one of the better ones in the NFL.

I’m the first to admit I might be too quick to judge because it has only been one season, but it just kills me every time I see Hayden’s name on a headline, it’s for an injury or him struggling. Just makes me wonder how a line with Mack and Lotulelei would have looked.



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