Oakland Raiders G.M. Under Pressure Over D.J. Hayden

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Oct 19, 2014; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes (29) breaks up a pass to Buffalo Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins (14) during the second half at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Bills beat the Vikings 17-16. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Could have done better

Those that like to argue on McKenzie’s behalf refer to all the players that were bad in the first round. That may be true but it doesn’t mean McKenzie gets a pass if Hayden ends up being a miss. So far, Hayden isn’t even the best corner of his draft class because Xavier Rhodes, drafted No. 25 overall, is an elite corner.

The Minnesota Vikings are happy with Rhodes as they often blitz, leaving him alone to cover the opposing team’s No. 1 receiver. And to me it was easy to see that he was going to be good when he was still at Florida State. Now, Rhodes is an elite corner that’s physical at the line of scrimmage just like the Raiders have always liked them.

Every year in today’s pass-happy, quarterback driven NFL, corners and becoming more important. Elite corners like Richard Sherman, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Darrelle Revis have gone to the last two Super Bowls. Missing on any player early in the Draft can set your team back a few years but hitting on a corner can set you up.

Next: Damaged goods