The Oakland Raiders have finally locked up all of their rookies with the signing of first round pick D.J. Hayden on Thursday.
Adam Kaplan reports that Hayden and the Raiders have come to terms on a rookie contract, and he will now be able to report to training camp.
The Raiders traded down in the draft and selected the cornerback at No. 12 overall.
Now that he has signed, the focus will shift to Hayden’s health, which surely been a big issue for the Raiders. He is recovering from surgery earlier this offseason that removed scar tissue from his abdomen, and last year, he nearly died when he ruptured his inferior vena cava during practice in college.
Hayden is feeling fine, however, tweeting out “I’m good folks” on Wednesday.
According to WalterFootball, scouts were “shocked [GM Reggie] McKenzie would draft a risky player like Hayden with his initial first-round pick as a general manager.”
Scouts also believed that the Raiders would have been “safer” going with defensive tackle Shariff Floyd out of Florida, who they were also interested in. Floyd fell to the Vikings with the 23rd selection.
Preliminary mock drafts had the Raiders picking Floyd at No. 3 overall, but on the day of the draft, several reports came out claiming that they were seriously considering Hayden.
Now, they have their man, signed and ready to prove his doubters wrong.