NFL Draft Bust Alert: D.J. Hayden


Aug 22, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Charles Johnson (12) catches a pass past Oakland Raiders cornerback D.J. Hayden (25) for a touchdown in the second quarter at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Prospects selected in the first round have three years to do some damage in the NFL or they are labelled busts. So that gives Oakland Raiders 2013 No. 12 overall D.J. Hayden this year to play well.  At the University of Houston, Hayden looked like a shut-down corner with good hips, feet, and speed.

But during his last season at Houston, he nearly died from a horrific accident on the football field. A couple of heart surgeries later, he’s trying to play in the NFL as he is far behind from his time off. He would flash at times but was inconsistent and unreliable because he had some injuries, trying to get his body used to football again.

This offseason, was the first that Hayden was healthy and participated in the whole offseason program. And this was to be the year he proved all his doubters wrong and avoid being called a bust. But so far, so bad as it all started training in camp with Hayden getting abused by Raiders receivers.

At first, Raiders fans gave credit to the receivers they have in Amari Coopper and Michael Crabtree. But now, the preseason games have started and it doesn’t look good for Hayden at this point. He’s getting picked on left and right, especially by the Minnesota Vikings, and he didn’t handle it well.

It all started with a penalty that took away a 3-and-out on the Vikings opening drive of the game. Then on a fourth down, the Vikings went to Hayden’s man again to get themselves a 1st-down. On the touchdown, which was a dime by Teddy Bridgewater, he may not have been able to do anything about it.

But it would have been so much better if he would have at least looked back and tried to swat the ball. It’s easy to see that Hayden has the speed, hips and feet to stay with anyone in the NFL. But if he can’t make a play on the ball, it’s not going to matter and the catch will be made.

If that continues to happen throughout this year, he will be labelled a bust.

Good thing the Raiders last two picks in the first round turned out well.

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