With the twelfth pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Oakland Raiders chose D.J. Hayden, defensive back from Houston. Hayden's quickness allows him to cover slot receivers and handle man-to-man coverage on the outside, filling a big need for a Raider's team that was 27th in the NFL in net yards allowed per passing attempt.
This was their first selection in the first round since Rolando McClain in 2010 and Raider fans had to wait a little while longer than they expected after Oakland traded back from the third spot.
Many expected the Raiders to take Sharrif Floyd to replace DT Tommy Kelly.
The post-Al Davis rebuilding is in progress and adding an anchor to the defensive line later in the draft is crucial for the Raiders future, especially coming off of a season where the Raiders sacked opposing QBs just 25 times, second fewest in the NFL.
At the top of the draft you find teams that have a lot of needs. The Raiders, who finished 2012 4-12, have a lot of holes to fill including replacing two of their key defensive players in McClain and Kelly, but going after a shutdown corner is a good way to start, especially when you play Peyton Manning twice a year.
Perhaps the only strength that the Raiders had last year was Carson Palmer’s ability to throw the ball around, even if it didn’t produce much success. Now, with Matt Flynn taking over after cutting ties with Palmer, even their passing game is a total question mark.