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Reggie McKenzie on D.J. Hayden

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Thursday, April 25th, 2013 at 7:41 pm in Oakland Raiders.

Raiders general manager discussed the selection of D.J. Hayden Thursday night with the local media:

Q: Was Hayden the guy you targeted all along and you just though you could get him lower?

McKenzie: We targeted him. Now, to pick up an extra pick was a bonus.

Q: What about Hayden appealed to you and how much caution did his heart scare give you?

McKenzie: Of course we researched the health issues. Now, everything we got back from that standpoint was more than positive so it became a non-issue for us in that regard. He’s gonna have to mentally go through it now, that’s the only issue we had. As far as what we liked about him – the guy can cover. Point blank, he can cover. He can find the football so he does what we’re looking for in a cornerback – he’s a good cover corner who can get his hands on the football.”

Q: Did the way he survived the heart scare and pulled through it, did that raise his stock in your eyes?

McKenzie: No, I don’t think it raised his stock. It showed up how competitive and how aggressively he went after it to try to get back to his old self. It showed that but it didn’t raise his stock as far as being an overcomer.

Q: There’s a lot of good 5-11 corners in the NFL but it seems the prototype is taller corners. Can Hayden cover at the NFL level?

McKenzie: Yes. That’s why we drafted him. The thing with him, his man cover skills is what set him apart for us. He don’t lose a guy. He’s quick and he’s fast and he’s tough and aggressive in his play. So, from that standpoint we have zero issues.

Q: If a deal couldn’t be worked out, would you have taken Hayden at 3?

McKenzie: Yes.

Q: Was cornerback a position of need, or this guy too good to pass up?

McKenzie: You guys know me. I’m gonna get the best player. Once we declare our draft board, we’re gonna follow it. We’re not gonna try to fill this need and fill that need and go into the offseason saying ‘We got players that we needed.’ We want to get players that we think make a difference. We want difference-makers, guys that can make plays. And that’s where he was on our board.

Q: Getting a lot of offers for No. 3?

McKenzie: No, in the end, the offers dwindled, and some of the offers didn’t make sense. But this one made sense.

Q: This is a no-doubt pick, right?

McKenzie: Use your words: no doubt.

Q: Any hesitation whatsoever knowing his medical history?

McKenzie: It really wasn’t with me. Had a chance to bring him in, had many conversations, took him out to dinner – just to get to know the guy. We went down to his pro day and had one of my personnel guys take him out. We knew the guy. So researching that part, our doctors did a great job in researching all the medical stuff. So from that standpoint, it was a non-issue. Then when we put on the tape, which is how we make decisions, it became prevalent that that’s our guy.

Q: What can you say about his drive based on what he overcame?

McKenzie: It says a lot for his drive. It says a lot for his fortitude. He’s a want to guy. It says a lot about that but you still have to strap on the pads and make plays.

Q: Picking up a second rounder a priority?

McKenzie: To pick up some picks was a top priority. Whether that would have been a 2? We’re excited to get the two? Absolutely. We didn’t know which way the picks were coming especially from the conversations that we’ve had leading up to it. A lot of the offers didn’t make sense but this one did. We’re happy to get that two.

Q: Is he cleared to practice immediately?

McKenzie: He’s totally cleared.

Q: Nervous waiting to see if he’d still be there at 12?

McKenzie: Yes.I had an inkling that when you lose a player like Darrelle Revis I could see where they would pick a corner. But they went with the other guy and we got our guy.

Q: Who would you have taken if not there?

McKenzie: I’m going to say no comment on that one. When you move back you kind of have guys ranked in the area. We had some guys if our guy wasn’t there we had about five guys we were going to look into.

Q: What is his personality like?

McKenzie: He came across. What I look for is is he approachable. Does it seem like he will be one of those guys that’s going to be coachable and be a worker. Does he really like football? Is he going to come and get after it. He definitely showed that. I already knew the answer by the research we had from his past coaches and all our scouts dig and all that information. You watch him play you can tell the guy loves football. But sometimes you also like to look in a guy’s eyes when he tells you answers and he passed.

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  • RaidO

    RediaR Says:
    April 25th, 2013 at 9:17 pm
    Lol. Geno is nowhere near RGIII or Luck.
    ——————————

    College stat wise hell yes he is.
    He also did it with a crappy Oline, weak RB’s. and no defense.

    RGIII and Luck did not have those problems.

  • Just Win Baby

    There Relentless Says:
    April 25th, 2013 at 9:22 pm
    Just Win Baby Says:
    April 25th, 2013 at 9:16 pm
    Last year I think we had the 10th rated Run D and the 28th rated pass D. That might explain something to some of the haters.
    —–
    Ok since I’m a hater and our DT’s and our DE’s except Lamarr and Carter are gone what’s gonna stop the run the SAME as last year. Sims and Walker? Better hope so. They haven’t played in our system yet. So how are we gonna have the same rank against the run this year?=========================
    There are still 6 more rounds in the draft. It isn’t over yet. there will be free agents coming available all through the draft. It isn’t over by a long shot.

  • Kirk

    mistic666 Says:
    April 25th, 2013 at 9:23 pm
    LOL….so you think we drafted Deion Sanders now….

    Try Again

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQCU36pkH7c

    >. need a kleenex man? need a shoulder to cry on? its only football. it was said haden didn’t tackle, i pointed out that CBs don’t always have to tackle. ASO went whole games without tackles too.
    ……………………………………..

    ASO sucks. The league finally figured that out.

  • Buckeyeraider

    Not mad at this pick at all. Dude looks like a playmaker.

    I thought Pass rusher was team’s biggest need, but corner was right there.. I’ve been making a case for Milliner @ 3 for the last week or so. This guy looks to have much better hands & ball skills.

    Looks like he’s not afraid to gamble and jump some routes. Those pick sixes are nice. This team needs to force some turnovers in the worst way.

    And there are still some quality pass rushers available…

  • Just Win Baby

    Just Win Baby Says:
    April 25th, 2013 at 9:25 pm
    There Relentless Says:
    April 25th, 2013 at 9:22 pm
    Just Win Baby Says:
    April 25th, 2013 at 9:16 pm
    Last year I think we had the 10th rated Run D and the 28th rated pass D. That might explain something to some of the haters.
    —–
    Ok since I’m a hater and our DT’s and our DE’s except Lamarr and Carter are gone what’s gonna stop the run the SAME as last year. Sims and Walker? Better hope so. They haven’t played in our system yet. So how are we gonna have the same rank against the run this year?=========================
    There are still 6 more rounds in the draft. It isn’t over yet. there will be free agents coming available all through the draft. It isn’t over by a long shot.
    ================

    I mean all through training camp.

  • backstageatapuppetshow

    Goodnight my Raider friends….rubbing it in after the draft selection would be too easy this time….

    & to Mark Davis, who I know attends this blog from time to time….

    remember what you said:

    “Everything is going as planned”

    :) :

  • Kirk

    Every team in the 2012 NFL playoffs had at least 1 starting OT drafted in the 1st round, and of the two teams in the SuperBowl, BOTH their offensive tackles were chosen in the first round….

    GB: Bulga, 1st
    Indy: Castonzo, 1st
    Cincy: Whitworth, Smith, 2nd and 1st
    Bal: McKinnie, Oher, 1st and 1st
    Hou: Brown, 1st
    NE: Solder, Vollmer, 1st and 2nd
    Den: Clady, Franklin, 1st and 2nd
    Minn: Kalil, Loadholt, 1st and 2nd
    Was: Williams, 1st
    Sea: Okung, 1st
    Atl: Baker, 1st
    SF: Staley, Davis, 1st and 1st
    Bal: McKinnie, Oher, 1st and 1st

  • mistic666

    Just Win Baby Says:
    April 25th, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    Who are the top 5 CB isn the league and what rd were they drafted in? Hint: Nnamdi isn’t one of them….

    ?? top CBS were all 1st round picks

  • Just Win Baby

    Plus getting rid of the DT we lost was addition by subtraction. We quite possibly may have upgraded already.

  • BlackandGreyjoy

    D.J. Hayden’s motto: “What is dead may never die, but rises again harder and stronger!”

  • 00tt00

    Mckenzie: Of course we researched the health issues. Now, everything we got back from that standpoint was more than positive so it became a non-issue for us in that regard. He’s gonna have to mentally go through it now, that’s the only issue we had.
    ———-
    The mental part is a Hugh question mark after what happened to the kid…once he gets paid health issues will overshadow football….he is not gonna stick someone

  • Relentless

    rediaR Says:
    April 25th, 2013 at 9:23 pm
    Relentless Says:
    April 25th, 2013 at 9:22 pm
    Just Win Baby Says:
    April 25th, 2013 at 9:16 pm
    Last year I think we had the 10th rated Run D and the 28th rated pass D. That might explain something to some of the haters.
    —–
    Ok since I’m a hater and our DT’s and our DE’s except Lamarr and Carter are gone what’s gonna stop the run the SAME as last year. Sims and Walker? Better hope so. They haven’t played in our system yet. So how are we gonna have the same rank against the run this year?
    ———————
    Last I checked, the rookies wouldn’t have played in our system yet either.
    —–
    Lemme sound smart bro, i forgot that point. But we needed more depth at DT than CB. We just signed 2 CB’s.

  • mistic666

    Kirk Says:
    April 25th, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    mistic666 Says:
    April 25th, 2013 at 9:23 pm
    LOL….so you think we drafted Deion Sanders now….

    Try Again

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQCU36pkH7c

    >. need a kleenex man? need a shoulder to cry on? its only football. it was said haden didn’t tackle, i pointed out that CBs don’t always have to tackle. ASO went whole games without tackles too.
    ……………………………………..

    ASO sucks. The league finally figured that out.

    >> ASO was a beast M2M. but couldn’t play the ball. eagles didn’t play to his strengths. i watched ASO hold FITZ to 1 fuking catch in 12 attempts. ASO could play

  • Kirk

    This guy almost dies from a practice injury in college.

    What do you think is going to happen to him in the NFL?

  • 00tt00

    Trying to recover from snotty draft with episode of arrested development …. Out

  • xraided

    504 Raider Says:
    April 25th, 2013 at 8:53 pm
    Geno Smith is showing bad character by what he is doing. GMs on cell phones with each other saying “You See”?

    _______________

    you’re losing millions dropping that low after most mocks had him in the top 10 … i’d be PISSED too losing millions, wouldn’t you?

    he’ll play with a chip on his shoulder now… Rodgers didn’t look too happy and i’m sure he would have handled it the same if he had gone home without a hat

  • xraided

    Kirk Says:
    April 25th, 2013 at 9:27 pm
    Every team in the 2012 NFL playoffs had at least 1 starting OT drafted in the 1st round, and of the two teams in the SuperBowl, BOTH their offensive tackles were chosen in the first round….

    GB: Bulga, 1st
    Indy: Castonzo, 1st
    Cincy: Whitworth, Smith, 2nd and 1st
    Bal: McKinnie, Oher, 1st and 1st
    Hou: Brown, 1st
    NE: Solder, Vollmer, 1st and 2nd
    Den: Clady, Franklin, 1st and 2nd
    Minn: Kalil, Loadholt, 1st and 2nd
    Was: Williams, 1st
    Sea: Okung, 1st
    Atl: Baker, 1st
    SF: Staley, Davis, 1st and 1st
    Bal: McKinnie, Oher, 1st and 1st

    _____________

    ok you can stfu now. no one cares

    we have a stud LT in Veldheer and Barnes is serviceable, especially in a PBS … Flynn will have time in the pocket.

  • Relentless

    xraided Says:
    April 25th, 2013 at 9:33 pm
    504 Raider Says:
    April 25th, 2013 at 8:53 pm
    Geno Smith is showing bad character by what he is doing. GMs on cell phones with each other saying “You See”?

    _______________

    you’re losing millions dropping that low after most mocks had him in the top 10 … i’d be PISSED too losing millions, wouldn’t you?

    he’ll play with a chip on his shoulder now… Rodgers didn’t look too happy and i’m sure he would have handled it the same if he had gone home without a hat
    —–
    He should be happy he’s even getting the opportunity at all. Obviously he has more love for money than the game. He’ll be washed up in no time. That’s what all you Geno lovers get for wanting him 3rd overall.

  • mistic666

    xraided Says:
    April 25th, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    504 Raider Says:
    April 25th, 2013 at 8:53 pm
    Geno Smith is showing bad character by what he is doing. GMs on cell phones with each other saying “You See”?

    _______________

    you’re losing millions dropping that low after most mocks had him in the top 10 … i’d be PISSED too losing millions, wouldn’t you?

    he’ll play with a chip on his shoulder now… Rodgers didn’t look too happy and i’m sure he would have handled it the same if he had gone home without a hat

    >. so you get up, refuse an interview and storm out of the building saying you won’t come back tomorrow? Geno threw a fit, simple as that. he’ll be lucky to get picked in the 3rd round. not even that cocky arrogant backup in carolina got up and walked out when he fell out of the first round before. Geno is a crybaby.

  • xraided

    Moore or Caradine or Ogletree will be a Raider tomorrow

    stud shutdown CB and a DE that can put on the pressure…

    me likey

  • DaTruth91

    great pic!!!

    all the haters can leave

  • Buckeyeraider

    Plus Reggie traded back and got that all important 2nd rd pick. Good job by Big Reggie.

    There should be some potential playmakers available at 42 to help this offense as well.

    Eddy Lacy? Reggie is supposed to be really high on him. WR Robert Woods. TE Zach Ertz. I’d love to have any of them.

    Reggie focused most of his attention in FA on the defense., especially LB’s. Nick Roach, Kevin Burnett and the guy from Cleveland.

    Like what I’ve read about Vance Walker and Pat sims, but Alex Okafor from Texas would be a welcome addition.

  • xraided

    “He should be happy he’s even getting the opportunity at all. Obviously he has more love for money than the game. He’ll be washed up in no time. That’s what all you Geno lovers get for wanting him 3rd overall.”

    wasn’t a Geno lover that’s for sure … but i just don’t blame him for being embarrassed. getting invited and going home like that. if he continues to be a non leader whiney type then yea case closed.

  • mistic666

    xraided Says:
    April 25th, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    Moore or Caradine or Ogletree will be a Raider tomorrow

    stud shutdown CB and a DE that can put on the pressure…

    me likey

    >> gotta be best pass rusher available right?

  • xraided

    2nd – MLB Ogletree
    3rd – C Barret Jones
    4th – DE Lemonier (yes he will drop this far like others have been)

    i’d lose to be the next 3 picks

  • xraided

    Mistic

    yea or Ogletree … we need a stud MLB still IMO

  • xraided

    ^^ **love that to be the next 3 picks

  • Gdog

    I gotta love this. All the people that hated Al and made excuses and justifications for every Reggie stumble and bumble, now are faced with justifying a pick that would have drove them absolutely INSANE if Al had made it. The fastest CB again?

    I think I will buy his jersey… just for Al.

    Its somehow poetic and right.

    Al is in football heaven with a smile on his face!

  • Que

    If people are upset with Reggie today and his choice to pick the BEST players regardless of position. Wait till tomorrow. Your gonna be even more upset. I love it , its about time we take the best player available regardless of position. The old ways are gone. Build your team Reggie

  • Que

    what would everyone have been saying if we didnt get a second round pick and just picked . We actually made out in the draft and got another pick. A ball hawking CB who can pick it off and run it back and score plus we have a second rounder. And the nation is all upset WOW .

  • Cervantes

    In the NFL today I think position really matters.

    Like the player Hayden…don’t like the pick at 12. Reggie’s saying he’s a better prospect than Jordan, Star, Warmack…sorry don’t see it.

    In order of importance

    QB
    LT
    DT
    Pass Rushing DE 4-3 or LB 3-4
    WR
    RT
    MLB
    SLB
    C
    RB
    DT2 or DE
    C
    TE
    PK
    P
    CB
    G
    WLB

    With the new passing rules CB is so far down the list of importance that I’d rather have a killer pass rush and stout run D that makes average and replaceable corners better than they are (A la Larry Brown) than Aso or anyone that opposing teams can game plan against.

    This was a pick by Reggie for his coach, who might not be here next year.

    We better start building the lines fast.

    But I’ll take Robert Woods in a heartbeat at 42

  • angry little man

    I would have liked for us to go D line in the first round. It wont matter how good of a cover corner he is, if we cant rush the passer. We needed some heat off the edges so maby RM will draft a DE in the 2nd.

    Im hoping RM drafts a real running back, being since this offense should be a run heavy attack by the looks of things.

    Would have loved to see RM trade DMAC for some more picks tomorrow.

  • angry little man

    Definetly loading up on the defensive side of the ball, of course we still dont have a legitimate pass rusher. Still it looks as tho we should have a pretty solid defense over all.

    DEFENSIVE END ALL DAY ALL DAY TOMORROW RM.

    Get it done

  • RaiderSam

    Cervantes Says:
    April 25th, 2013 at 10:12 pm
    In the NFL today I think position really matters.

    Like the player Hayden…don’t like the pick at 12. Reggie’s saying he’s a better prospect than Jordan, Star, Warmack…sorry don’t see it.

    In order of importance

    QB
    LT
    DT
    Pass Rushing DE 4-3 or LB 3-4
    WR
    RT
    MLB
    SLB
    C
    RB
    DT2 or DE
    C
    TE
    PK
    P
    CB
    G
    WLB

    With the new passing rules CB is so far down the list of importance that I’d rather have a killer pass rush and stout run D that makes average and replaceable corners better than they are (A la Larry Brown) than Aso or anyone that opposing teams can game plan against.

    This was a pick by Reggie for his coach, who might not be here next year.

    We better start building the lines fast.

    But I’ll take Robert Woods in a heartbeat at 42

    =============

    It means THERE WERE NO IMPACT PLAYERS ON THE D-LINE WHERE THEY PICKED.

    they got the impact corner, but a player coming off a freak injury – maybe the fact that he faced death and came back, and his character had off the scale intangibles.

    I am convinced that they would’ve taken Fisher if there, traded down and still gotten a player they wanted.

    Too many people were seeing the position, but not necessarily the character of the player playing the position.

    if this guy flashed later on in the process that meant , MANY evaluators didnt think much of the prospects – a lot of people dropped, and the Raiders didnt want a project or an out of position player like Louletelei (who , I wanted personally)

    they just saw something different.

    And Robert Woods? Marquise Lee outshone him

    Star Louletelei – this was the one i wanted. his only weakness was that he is too upright when he bull rushes. His combo of size, strength and athleticism is top notch.

    but i think people are projecting Haloti Ngata, without realizing the Ravens had top notch corners , LB’s and safeties. The Raiders have journeyman and face Peyton Manning and Phillip Rivers. – and P.M. releases faster than a rusher – they needed corner help.

    Im not saying you arent absolutely wrong, but the scheme, and players SURROUNDING the player add to the process. Cornellius Carradine may be available at 42. But I wouldnt be surprised if Arthur Brown was taken at 2. He has outstanding character, and is great in pass coverage. – maybe they wait till four to take Lavar Edwards, John Simon or Joe Kruger

  • savageraider

    This is my first post on here and the only reason I’m posting is because I can’t believe how many of you think you are smarter than GM’s, Coaches, Ex Coaches, and Draft Experts. I watched multiple reviews of the Raiders day 1 draft and EVERYONE said they did great. They got a 2nd Round Pick and a quality CB. Everyone give the kid a chance before you flame him. There are still quality DT’s in the draft Jesse Williams, Jonathan Hankins, Kawan Short. Old Reggie is doing things the right recouping picks that were wasted on Bums. In Reggie We Trust.

  • r8rhemi

    2nd – DT John Jenkins
    3rd – S Philip Thomas

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