Oakland Raiders: Bye Week Notes And Observations

6 of 10

Oct 4, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears wide receiver Eddie Royal (19) scores a touchdown past Oakland Raiders cornerback

D.J. Hayden

(25) during the first quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

The Hayden Dilemma

Sooner or later, the Raiders will need to figure out what to do about D.J. Hayden. To say he hasn’t performed up to his draft status would be an understatement. A vast understatement. It’s probably safe to say that while perhaps not a total bust along the lines of a JaMarcus Russell, Hayden has been a huge disappointment.

Having missed large portions of his first two seasons in the league, this is the first season where Hayden has been healthy. And the results just haven’t been there. He’s given up big play after big play, he constantly draws penalties, gives up a lot of yards and touchdowns, and just doesn’t seem to have those quick twitch instincts NFL corners have to have.

The Raiders may have to accept the fact that Hayden hasn’t panned out as they’d envisioned him and may never be a viable corner in the league. But that doesn’t necessarily mean he can’t still have value to this team.

Live Feed

Packers: 5 defensive players to avoid in 2021 free agency
Packers: 5 defensive players to avoid in 2021 free agency /

Dairyland Express

  • Carolina Panthers: 3 trade targets from the Jacksonville Jaguars Cat Crave
  • 3 underappreciated Jacksonville Jaguars players for the 2020 season Black and Teal
  • Jaguars Host Falcons: Three Players To Watch Tonight Black and Teal
  • Jacksonville Jaguars: Preseason games will determine play time NFL Spin Zone
  • Was signing D.J. Hayden the riskiest move of the Jacksonville Jaguars offseason? Black and Teal
  • A novel idea for how the Raiders can better use Hayden was put forth by Maurice Moton over on Bleacher Report recently. And that idea is that the Raiders move Hayden to safety. Given that they’ve already moved Travis Carrie from corner to safety, HC Jack Del Rio has already shown that he is willing to make position switches that will better the club. This may be one of those moves that can pay big dividends.

    Per the report from Bleacher Report:

    "“Defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. should experiment with Hayden at safety, where opposing quarterbacks cannot target him in man-to-man coverage. It would also allow Hayden to use his footwork to break up passes and disrupt throws from a less reactionary position on the field… … In a deep-safety position, Hayden could watch the play develop in front of him without acting immediately in freelance situations. As an over-the-top safety, his footwork and moderate speed should help him gain position when a receiver burns a cornerback on the outside.”"

    With David Amerson proving to be a solid defender on one corner, moving Hayden to safety would allow Carrie to move back to his natural position, giving the Raiders two reliable corners while still allowing Hayden to contribute to the team.

    And given the fact that he could learn directly from a future first ballot Hall of Famer who’s made the switch in Charles Woodson, it could really benefit not just Hayden but the team as a whole. It’s a move that Del Rio and DC Ken Norton should give serious consideration to.

    Next: Starting To Round Into Form