Raiders coach Dennis Allen answered questions from the media after the selection of D.J. Hayden with the 12th pick of the draft:
Q: Some tense moments after determining he was your guy at 3, to have to wait until 12?
Allen: It was a tense feeling there in the draft room. We felt like there was a chance he was still going to be there. The good thing is there were some other guys we would have felt comfortable with, but D.J. was our guy we identified very early on in the process. He was the guy we were really interested in at the third pick and we were fortunate to get him where we got him and picked up another pick.
Q: As an old defensive back, what do you think when you put the tape on?
Allen: Well, I think he’s, the one quality that you look at when you’re looking at corners, is you’re looking for guys that can cover, and this guy can cover. He can cover man-to-man, he’s got great speed, he’s got great quickness, he’s got the ability to play both off and press coverage, and really one of the things I really look at is, how does the guy make plays on the ball, specifically the ball down the field, and he does a tremendous job of that.
Q: Can you think of an NFL equivalent?
Allen: Well, I think there’s obviously, I look at him as one of the top corners. I think he’s got a chance to be really good and a difference maker for us, so when you look at the top corners in this league, that’s who I see him ending up being like.
Q: Best available player, how important to fortify this defense?
Allen: Obviously we’ve got needs throughout this team we want to make sure we take care of and I think it was a great thing that we were able to get an impact player at a position, specifically defensively, the things that you look for, is how do you affect the quarterback? And you do that through rush or coverage and this guy, we felt like, was the top cover corner in the draft.
Q: When you spent time with him, how much time did you spend with him?
Allen: A pretty good portion of the day when he was here. He spent a lot of time with myself. He spent a lot of time with the assistant coaches. We got a chance to meet with him, talk football with him, and see how much information he could retain and how much volume of information he could take in. The guy’s all football. He loves football. He’s going to be a guy, obviously, you’ve seen with what he’s been through, that he’s willing to work, and those are all things . . . a lot of people talk about character, this guy’s the type of character that we’re looking for.