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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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  • Mahlhavoc

    RaidersAllday_LtsGeTit Says:
    April 25th, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    Still cant believe ppl are complaining with what Reggie did.. He just said most offers didnt make sense.

    Its either hayden at 3 and no 2nd round pick… or hayden at 12 and take a chance on him being there and get a high 2nd round pick.

    The reason Pats got those picks because they gave up a late 29th pick.

    Raiders still got Miami 12th overall pick and high 42nd pick. I guess if u wanted to get a little greedy you could have asked for a 4th rounder..but Raiders wanted there guy and got a 2nd round pick.

    —————

    CAN NOT complain about this

  • Thec

    Meant to Say Patterson not robinson for the vikes…Good pickup and replacement for Harvin

  • WESTRAIDER

    Lacey to tha cowgirls

  • WESTRAIDER

    Elm to ravens

  • 00tt00

    MikieG Says:
    April 25th, 2013 at 8:32 pm
    Why are some of you tripping out on the value chart—Do you not understand that Miami said “here is our trade offer, take it or leave it”, and if we would have left it we would have picked Hayden anyway, and not picked up a second rounder? We were not in a position to negotiate–we got a gift. Imagine this place after picking Hayden #3 and having no #42?.Cause it almost happened.
    ———-
    Dude…..Miami has 11-12 picks in this draft….you telling me Reggie couldn’t negotiate another pick…….we should have at least picked up another 3rd…….hell one of the 7ths

    Reggie is flat out dumb, stupid, slow…..pick whatever description you want…this guy is not qualified to be a GM

  • araiderso

    gonna have some solid options at 42 guys, I’m happy. Not amazed, but I’m definitely happy. Starter on D and likely another one to come tomorrow. Thanks Reggie

  • Dakota

    who?

  • WESTRAIDER

    Wtf

  • Priesttj12

    All this stuff about BPA is a bunch of crap as far as I’m concerned. I had CB as our #2 need and apparently they saw it as the #1 need because this definitely fills a need. 1DE 2CB 3Oline were my need list and Reggie can say BPA all he wants he filled a need……….period

  • rediaR

    Hahaha. Jerry Jones taking over for Al.

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    more defenses win with better front 7s and serviceable secondaries.

    I would rather see a difference maker from the DTs, pass rushers and linebackers than corner.

    Nnamdi was locking down his side of the field and it didn’t really matter.

    Getting smashed on Sunday and then complaining about gap discipline, toughness, mindset and blah, blah, blah.

    Another year

  • John David Booty

    00tt00 Says:
    April 25th, 2013 at 8:41 pm
    MikieG Says:
    April 25th, 2013 at 8:32 pm
    Why are some of you tripping out on the value chart—Do you not understand that Miami said “here is our trade offer, take it or leave it”, and if we would have left it we would have picked Hayden anyway, and not picked up a second rounder? We were not in a position to negotiate–we got a gift. Imagine this place after picking Hayden #3 and having no #42?.Cause it almost happened.
    ———-
    Dude…..Miami has 11-12 picks in this draft….you telling me Reggie couldn’t negotiate another pick…….we should have at least picked up another 3rd…….hell one of the 7ths

    Reggie is flat out dumb, stupid, slow…..pick whatever description you want…this guy is not qualified to be a GM
    ————-
    Thats how I see it. He was actually set to stay at 3 and take Hayden, meaning he would have gotten zero extra value if Miami didnt fall in love with Dion Jordan to move up. Reggie needs to step his GM game WAY up.

  • Priesttj12

    Here goes Teo…

  • rediaR

    Priesttj12 Says:
    April 25th, 2013 at 8:43 pm
    All this stuff about BPA is a bunch of crap as far as I’m concerned. I had CB as our #2 need and apparently they saw it as the #1 need because this definitely fills a need. 1DE 2CB 3Oline were my need list and Reggie can say BPA all he wants he filled a need……….period
    ———————–
    Who was better?

  • jackasspuria

    First round is done… and I have a sneaking suspicion…

    Geno Smith will be in play at No. 42…

  • Priesttj12

    Matt Elam good solid pick, they fill the need at FS and they say they don’t draft for need in the 1st rnd………..bullcrap!!!

  • 00tt00

    Raiders still got Miami 12th overall pick and high 42nd pick. I guess if u wanted to get a little greedy you could have asked for a 4th rounder..but Raiders wanted there guy and got a 2nd round pick.
    ————
    A little greedy….what are you fckn kidden……we were over 500 points off value….Reggie is the guy who goes to the car lot with money hanging out his pockets telling the salesman…..I HAVE TO HAVE THIS CAR???ILL GIVE YOU ANYTHING FOR IT

  • J Hill

    10th pick the, eh?

  • 00tt00

    Geno at a mid second round would be better then Hayden early 1st round

  • SilverLining20

    So did Huff just become a back up or is Elam a strong safety?

  • Raider Mayne

    Hopefully we pick up some linemen tomorrow !
    Nite gents ! Go Raiders !

  • 8RaiderReign8

    Kind of a run on DB’s late in the draft.

  • WESTRAIDER

    Elm is a SS

  • Dakota

    Where’s the beef?

  • J Hill

    SnB,

    Wassup big doug!

    Our division requires stopping the pass as a priority, man.

  • RaidersAllday_LtsGeTit

    A little greedy….what are you fckn kidden……we were over 500 points off value…

    ——————————

    Reggie picked up the 2nd round which he set out to do. Thats all the dolphins were willing to give up.. Take it or leave it. Reggie is a graduate of University of Tennessee and in the Hall of Fame. Put 18 years with the Packers organization. You are name calling on a blog. Who is the “dumb one?”

  • zopi

    The problem with draftniks is that eventually what they ate and digested for months comes out like crap on draft day, and mostly will call it wrong. Plus the final call on the puck will always be made when the player gets on the field and either makes it or busts. The draft has been said many times is a crap shoot.

    The majority here predicted everyone but DJ, predicted that the pick would be a lineman, and it wasn’t until Fioro got the leak that people here started talking about DJ, typical draftnik.

    Now he’s become the player everybody Raider fan wanted, now I’m not saying he won’t be the next coming of Jack Tatum, but he pretty well could be the next coming of Fabian Washington.

  • Myopinion

    I liked elam
    Kinda luke moore next.
    Priest what are your thoughts on moore?

  • aig-raiders

    Jags will snatch Geno in the 2nd.

  • rediaR

    When the OTs went off the board so did most of the trades.

  • DJ Johnny

    Looks like Ravens aren’t as high on Huff as some thought.

    I bet Elam starts over him.

  • da trinity

    Mayock just have is props again

  • Dakota

    Keenan Allen at #42?

  • RaiderFan-n-KC

    I’m watching ESPN and all Mel Kiper is saying is Te’o Te’o Te’o… Geno Smith Geno Smith Geno Smith.

  • Priesttj12

    I thought Lane Johnson, Dion Jordan, Ansah and I would take Tyler Eifert over this kid as it stands right now until I have a chance to study the kid. Once I study him I might change my mind who knows. But initially he sounds like Philip Buchanan…..lol

  • Plunketthead

    Geno is headed home and wont come back tomorrow.

  • backstageatapuppetshow

    We out did even DALLAS for the WORST VALUE for a 1st round pick of anyone in the entire draft…..

    But you know what?

    Reggie go this guy…..too bad he could have gotten his guy in the late 2nd or 3rd round…..

    To make a mistake like this is a decision that should be grounds for a FIRING….

    Completely unacceptable!

    Fire Reggie McKenzie

  • Priesttj12

    Myopinion Says:
    April 25th, 2013 at 8:49 pm
    I liked elam
    Kinda luke moore next.
    Priest what are your thoughts on moore?
    *******************************
    Demontre Moore at 42 would be a steal

  • SnBG

    Get ready for rnd 2. Good night gentlemen.

  • Dakota

    At least Fisher and Joeckel were off the board so I won’t have heartburn every time I watch them pay.

  • DJ Johnny

    Elam strong safety? My bad.

  • zopi

    Instead of looking how the Packers operate, BigMcZar should see how a master like Bellychukup handles trades and pick-hoards. He took the Vikings for fools.

  • 504 Raider

    Geno Smith is showing bad character by what he is doing. GMs on cell phones with each other saying “You See”?

  • DaTruth91

    DaTruth91 Says:
    April 25th, 2013 at 3:45 pm
    Im starting to like the Haden pick more and more.

    He fits alot of reggie’s attributes he looks for and he is a Corner. You know Dennis Allen was begging him for a CB.

    Also The value isnt there for any other postion besides CB and OT

    Look up the Stats. CB’s have low Bust potential, while DT’s in the first rd are the hardest to predict and Busts are present on almost all teams.

    if there was an elite 4-3 LB, than Reggie would go that direction, but since there is not, I see why he is going to DJ Hayden

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^

    called it

  • raidereric

    REGGIE FAILED BIG TIME!!! I’VE LOST FAITH IN THE ORGANIZATION…..AGAIN!! WOW!!! DUMBASS NATION!!!

  • Macho Man Randy Savage

    Come draft time do you swing for the fences or try to hit a double? I like the Hayden pick, if we get a 8 year starter it will be a doule, think Terry McDaniel vs Fabian Washington and Philp Buchanon… Got a 2nd rounder too. should draft a DT tomorrow

  • Priesttj12

    I thought Moore would go 20-25 somewhere if we get him at 42 you cannot argue with that however there will be some serious gems at that point the TE from Stanford Ertz and Te’o would great value picks.

  • rediaR

    Backstageatapuppetshow Says:
    April 25th, 2013 at 8:52 pm
    We out did even DALLAS for the WORST VALUE for a 1st round pick of anyone in the entire draft…..

    But you know what?

    Reggie go this guy…..too bad he could have gotten his guy in the late 2nd or 3rd round…..

    To make a mistake like this is a decision that should be grounds for a FIRING….

    Completely unacceptable!

    Fire Reggie McKenzie
    ————————–
    3rd round? Really? You are insane.

  • 504 Raider

    If we can get Honey Badger at #42 this draft is an A+ even if Reggie bombs the remaining picks. Best CB and Best playmaking DB would have Peyton Manning getting zero sleep all summer long.

  • Dakota

    Priesttj12 Says:
    April 25th, 2013 at 8:55 pm
    I thought Moore would go 20-25 somewhere if we get him at 42 you cannot argue with that however there will be some serious gems at that point the TE from Stanford Ertz and Te’o would great value picks.
    +++++++++

    Ertz would be a major upgrade.