What up RaiderNation? Welcome to this week’s edition of My Two Cents, with your favorite old Raider fan, Old Timer. Well, it has been an exciting couple of days hasn’t it RaiderNaion? We have had a full compliment of picks so far thanks to some brilliant maneuvering by Reggie and company. While planning to take arguably the best CB in the draft at #3 overall, Reggie traded back with the Dolphins, got a 2nd round pick (#42 overall), and still landed the player he wanted to take at #3. While some will say we did not get enough for trading back, (#3 is worth 2200 points, #12 is worth 1200 and the #42 is worth 480), it was the best deal that was offered, and we were still able to select the player we wanted. I call that a win-win. Great work Reggie! So lets take a look at the picks we have made so far.
In round 1 (#12), the Raiders picked DJ Hayden, CB out of Houston. Amongst the draftniks, he was rated either the number one or number two CB available in this year’s draft, but most all admit he has the highest upside between him and D. Milliner (the other top rated CB), though Milliner is taller and has longer arms. DJ Hayden has one of the most intriguing stories of the draft. He was involved in a freak accident during practice and almost died. At first the coaches thought he had just been knocked out. But he was feeling cold, tired, and then could not see out of one of his eyes. The coaches and trainers realized then that something was very wrong and sent him off to the hospital in an ambulance. The doctors determined blood was building up in his abdomen. After cutting open his sternum, they found that the inferior vena cava (a blood vessel going into the heart itself), had been torn. This injury is something that is usually only seen in car accidents, and has a 95% mortality rate. But the doctors were able to stitch the vessel back up, and pump enough blood into him to get him stable. At first, Hayden was worried he would not walk again, but here he is now, completely cleared for contact by the medical staff of all 32 NFL teams, and ready to become a difference maker for the Oakland Raiders. Hayden is the best cover corner in the draft this year, and can play press, man and zone. He is agile, and has the speed to keep up with the fastest of the receivers (ran a 4.33 40 at his pro day), breaks on the ball quickly, and has excellent ball skills. He displays elite instincts and route recognition. He has fluid footwork and hips, and is a reliable tackler. He is a very disciplined player. In 23 games for Houston, he intercepted 6 passes. Last year, he returned two interceptions for long touchdowns. Let’s take a look at some of his highlights.
The first 2 minutes of the video show what a sure tackler he is, as well as his ability to punch the ball loose in the process. The rest of the video shows his ability to read the QB’s eyes, and recognize routes allowing him to jump the route and knock the pass away, or come away with the interception. The last of the video shows him taking interceptions to the house of 75, 55, and 95 yards. The Raiders have not had a shutdown corner since Nnamdi left. RaiderNation, we have one again.
In the 2nd round, (with the pick McKinzie got by trading back with Miami), the Raiders selected one of the top right tackles in the draft, Melenik Watson out of Florida State. Though Watson is raw (only played 16 games overall, and only 13 with FSU), he has a huge upside and has pro-bowl type talent. Originally from England, Watson was a soccer player, but realized he didn’t have a real future in soccer. He later became a basketball player, and a boxer as well. He tried out for football after enrolling at Saddleback Junior College, where he was teammates with Kyle Long, son of Raiders Hall Of Fame DL Howie Long. The next fall, he won the starting right tackle job with FSU. He has a rare athletic ability, great size (6’5″, 310 lbs, 34 inch arms), an explosive first step, and powerful arms. In 13 games with FSU last season, he gave up only 1 sack. He has often been compared to Jared Gaither. Again, he is still raw, but with one of the best offensive line coaches in the game in Tony Sparano working with this kid, it will be not long at all before he becomes the other side of 2 great bookend tackles with Veldheer. Let’s look at some of his highlights.
Throughout this entire video, you can see him manhandling his opponents. His strength and athleticism really stands out. Although he is raw, he is going to be a great one.
The last pick made by the Raiders on Day 2 was one of the best all around OLB’s available in the draft, Sio Moore out of UConn. Moore is a very disciplined LB who maintains his gaps well and is very good in coverage as well. He has good speed and is successful at getting to the QB off the edge. He is a great tackler as well and plays with a chip on his shoulder.. In his senior year, he had 15.5 tackles for loss, 8 sacks and 11 pass break-ups. Let’s take a look at some of his highlights.
As you can see, he is a sure tackler and can get after the QB both off the edge as well as inside. Most of RaiderNation was unhappy that the Raiders allowed Philip Wheeler to walk in free agency, but Sio Moore will make us forget all about him.
So what say ye RaiderNation? Hit me up either through the comment section below, or shoot me an email to the email address listed below.
Well, that’s it for this week my Raider brothers and sisters. Make sure to check back next week for another edition of My Two Cents. Peace out RaiderNation!!
Questions? Comments? Email me at OldTimer@silverandblackdaily.com