Oakland Raiders rookie cornerback D.J. Hayden will miss the rest of the 2017 season after being placed on injured reserve Wednesday. Hayden suffered a groin injury during last Sunday’s win over the Houston Texans, and will go on the mend until 2017 as a result.
Hayden has an extensive medical history, including a life-threatening injury during his senior season at Houston that put his heart in peril. Hayden rebounded, and was considered one of the top prospects in the 2017 NFL Draft. More injuries kept him out of offseason workouts, however, and he was unable to make as big an impact during his eight appearances this season as he and many Raiders fans had hoped.
Pass rusher may be a bigger need, by taking a guy like Taco Charlton or Derek Barnett here is too much of a reach. You can argue offensive tackle is a big need here, but none of this year鈥檚 tackle prospects are worth a top-10 pick.
Authentic Kids Ben Ijalana Jersey Fournette is a can’t-miss prospect that gives this offense another weapon, something it needs a lot of when the offensive line looks like it will be a weakness this year, and Andy Dalton, while great, isn’t elite. When your quarterback isn’t elite, you need a great supporting cast around him, and that includes a great running back.
Authentic Kids Joe Schobert Jersey Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard are just role players. Cincinnati needs a true game-changer at this position, and Fournette fits the bill.
Analysis: This is what you have to weigh with this choice. Do players like defensive end Derek Barnett or wide receiver Corey Davis and Mike Williams make as big of an impact on the team as Fournette? The easy answer is no. The Bengals should be able to find a second wide receiver to pair with A.J. Green some time later in the draft, and there could be a pass rusher like Derek Rivers of Youngstown State in the second round. There won鈥檛 be a runner of Fournette鈥檚 caliber at any other point in the draft, and to get him with the ninth pick is a smart choice.