Casey Hayward was one of the last players the Las Vegas Raiders added in a busy offseason of acquiring players.
Yet if the early voluntary OTA sessions are any indication, Hayward could be one of the Raiders’ most important offseason additions. Asked this week to name the new player who has most impressed him thus, Las Vegas third-year safety Johnathan Abram quickly mentioned Hayward.
“Probably Casey Hayward [Jr.]. Getting a chance to know him, be around him, he’s a guy who’s been in the system, going on (five) years,” Abram said. “Just seeing the amount of things he saw. The starts that he got in this system. He pretty much knows it all.
“He goes out there, he talks every single play, in and out of the play. It’s just amazing to see. It’s very helpful for guys like me and other guys trying to learn this system. He’s been a tremendous help and I’m very glad he’s going to be a part of this team.”
These comments have to be exciting to hear for the Raider Nation. The Raiders signed Hayward right after the draft because he both provides veteran experience and leadership at a young position group and he has played under new Las Vegas defensive coordinator Gus Bradley. Hayward and Bradley spent the past four years with the Chargers together.
If second-year cornerback Damon Arnette struggles, Hayward could assume a starting role for the Raiders this season. So far, it looks like he’s off to a good start.