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

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August 30, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver John Brown (12) misses a pass against Oakland Raiders cornerback D.J. Hayden (25) during the second quarter in a preseason NFL football game at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Crucial 2015

This is a crucial year for Hayden because if he doesn’t work out, that’s a bust on McKenzies record and it ruins the turnaround year. If you saw the Raiders ones in the third preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals, you know what I mean. Khalil Mack, the 2014 1st-round pick and the defensive front-7 dominated the game, allowing just three points in the first half.

Mack and 2015 2nd-round pick Mario Edwards Jr. had two sacks a piece in the game. T.J. Carrie, the team’s 2014 7th-round pick, has been the team’s best corner, looking pretty solid in the process. Offensively, quarterback Derek Carr and 2015 1st-round pick Amari Cooper are going to get things worked out.

The offense also has Murray running the ball, a good offensive line and tight end Clive Walford back from injury. So if Hayden comes through, the Raiders will have their first winning record in 13 years. That’s a lot of pressure to put on a young man who almost died on a football field in 2012 so that pressure is on McKenzie for picking him.

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