The Oakland Raiders made the first big move of the 2013 NFL Draft by dealing the No.3 overall pick.
After offensive tackles Eric Fisher and Luke Joeckel went to the Kansas City Chiefs and Jacksonville Jaguars to start the first round, the Raiders sent their selection to the Miami Dolphins. In the trade, Oakland acquired the No.12 overall pick and Miami’s second-round selection (No.42).
At nine slots lower than their original position, the Raiders ended Thursday night with one of the top cornerbacks in the 2013 class. They selected D.J. Hayden from Houston.
The selection came as somewhat of a surprise. Some experts had Hayden going in the top 10, while other mock drafts didn’t have him being taken until late in the first round.
Hayden fills a position that Oakland desperately needed to improve. He missed part of the 2012 season with an injury, but intercepted four passes in nine games. Other than Alabama’s Dee Milliner, Hayden may be the best defensive back in the draft.
The trade not only landed Hayden, but it gave Oakland a pick in the second round -- something they didn’t previously have. At No.42, the Raiders have a good chance to end Friday with another player that can have a big impact on their 2013 season.
Before Thursday’s trade, the Raiders were expected to take defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd at No.3. With an extra pick in the draft, there’s a good chance they’ll take a different player at that same position.
Jesse Williams from Alabama and Jonathan Hankins from Ohio State might be the two best interior linemen left on the board. Williams is credited for his ability to stop the run and Hankins recorded 15 total tackles for a loss in the past two years.
The Raiderss are known for making surprising picks on draft day, and they could do the same by taking Geno Smith in the second round. The quarterback was once projected to be an early first-round selection, but went undrafted on Thursday. If he’s still available at No.42, the Raiders may feel Smith is too good to pass up.
The Carson Palmer trade did not work out as planned, and Oakland is need of a quarterback for the future. They acquired Matt Flynn from Seattle, but he doesn’t have much more starting experience than Smith.
Smith has the size and speed similar to that of quarterbacks like Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson, who has success in their rookie campaigns. However, questions about his mechanics have led some to question if he can be a quality NFL starter.