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Raiders CB D.J. Hayden losing starting role despite 1st-round pedigree

Oakland's 2013 first-round pick is slipping down the depth chart heading into training camp.

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Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Oakland Raiders cornerback D.J. Hayden, the team's promising first-round pick in 2013, has been working with the second team throughout organized team activities, according to Bill Williamson of ESPN. Hayden -- a surprise pick given his injury history -- seems firmly entrenched behind 2014 fourth-rounder Keith McGill on the depth chart.

Hayden, who sustained a freak injury in college that called his draft value into question, hasn't been able to stay healthy or be overly impressive on the practice field. He played in just eight games as a rookie, snaring one interception and putting up 25 total tackles. In 2014, he played in 10 games, with 47 tackles and another interception.

Hayden established himself as a starter by the end of 2014. By Week 9 last season, Hayden was playing most defensive snaps each game, and he did have some good outings. Still, overall he graded out poorly (61st-best CB in the NFL last season, according to Pro Football Focus), and while he was playing well, he wasn't making many game-changing plays.

T.J. Carrie, a seventh-round pick in 2014, appears to be locked into the other cornerback spot.

At this point, things can still turn around for Hayden. He's 25 years old and still has a lot of upside. But Hayden was the kind of selection the Raiders have typically missed on over recent years.

That said, Oakland's last two drafts have been well-regarded by experts, with Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper representing great value where they were picked. The Raiders have put together a couple strong offseasons, and they could be close to being a competitive team. Whether Hayden will be a significant piece on that team remains to be seen.