Reggie McKenzie: D.J. Hayden needed a fresh start

Getty Images

The Raiders are thinking about contract extensions for defensive end Khalil Mack, quarterback Derek Carr and guard Gabe Jackson, so it’s fair to say that General Manager Reggie McKenzie hit on his first three picks of the 2014 draft.

The same can’t be said of the team’s first pick from 2013. Cornerback D.J. Hayden was McKenzie’s first first-round pick running the personnel department for the Raiders and his four years with the team were marked by injuries and ineffectiveness. McKenzie said last week that the former contributed to the latter by sapping Hayden of confidence he needed to “really thrive” in Oakland.

“I think he probably made a good decision by getting away from Oakland,” McKenzie said, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “Fresh start. … I think from the neck up, from him just knowing, ‘I’m going to be confident, I’m going to be able to take this away,’ it’s just him just gaining that confidence. I think Detroit, if they do it right, they’re going to get the best out of him.”

Hayden’s lack of confidence was likely a factor in the frequency he drew flags for pass interference and holding over the last two seasons, a habit that’s not likely to win him much favor in Detroit if it continues. That leaves the Lions to hope that McKenzie’s 2017 evaluation of where Hayden is as a player works out better than the 2013 version.

16 responses to “Reggie McKenzie: D.J. Hayden needed a fresh start

  1. The guy could be a decent player, but he just cant get out of his own way. alot of times he is right there but doesnt get his head around instead he grabs the WR, it was like watching stanford rout all over again.

  2. @drunknRaider

    Totally agree

    You said something I think every Sunday while I’m watching games around the league.

    Does anybody still coach DB’s to turn their heads around while covering anymore? All DB’s run with WR’s and turn their heads when the WR puts his hands up. It’s frustrating to watch

  3. Proof that the difference between making good plays vs bad plays as a corner is mental. We wish him the best in DET.
    Um what? Never turning your head has nothing to do with your “me”mental” game. Hayden simply sucks and Reggie is just covering his own ass by saying he needs a fresh start, as if he has any chance of turning it around (there is no chance he will), instead of admitting he screwed up by not taking Trufant, Rhoades or Slay.

  4. araidersfan says:
    Apr 2, 2017 5:35 PM
    Along with Larry Brown, D.J. Hayden was the worst starting CB that I saw in my 45 years of following the Raiders.
    Clearly you don’t remember DeAngelo Hall’s eight game stint.

  5. In all fairness to Reggie, I think he may have been fed bad info from the former scouting team that he eventually fired. Bad scouting = bad choices. Once he got his own guys in there, the picks have been stellar.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!