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Reggie McKenzie's Draft Day 1

Posted Apr 25, 2013

General Manager Reggie McKenzie takes questions from the media after selecting CB DJ Hayden with the 12th overall pick.


On whether they specifically targeted D.J. Hayden: “We targeted him. Now to pick up an extra pick was a bonus.”

On whether Hayden's past health issues were a factor: “Of course we researched the health issues. Now everything that we got back from that standpoint was more than positive, so it became a non-issue for us in that regard. He's going to have to mentally go through it now. That's the only issue that we had. Now as far as what we liked about him, the guy can cover. Point blank, he can cover, and 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.”

On how the injury affected Hayden's draft stock: “No, I don't think it raised his stock. It showed us how competitive and how aggressively he went after it in trying to get back to his old self. It showed that, but it didn't raise his stock as far as you talking about being an overcomer. If that's what you're saying, no.”

On Hayden's ability to play in man coverage: “Yes. That's why we drafted him. The thing with him, his man-coverage skills are what set himself apart for us. He doesn’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.”

On whether Hayden would have been the pick at No. 3 if the trade did not work out: “Yes.”

On whether the pick was need-based: “You guys know me; I'm going to get the best player. Once we declare our draft board, we're going to follow it. We're not going to try to fill this need and fill that need and go in to the offseason saying, 'Well, we got players that we needed.’ We want to get players that we think are going to make a difference. We want difference-makers, guys that can make plays, and that's where he was on our board.”

On agreeing to make the trade: “In the end, the offers dwindled and some of the offers didn't make sense, but this one made sense.”

On whether he has any doubts regarding Hayden: “I'm going to use your words: No doubt.”

On whether there was hesitation because of Hayden’s health issues: “No, it really wasn’t with me. We had the chance to bring him in, had many conversations and took him out to dinner, just to get to know the guy. We went down to his pro day and had one of our personnel guys take him out. We knew the guy. Researching that part, our doctors did a great job researching all of the medical part. From that standpoint, it was a non-issue. When we put on the tape, which is how we make decisions, then it became prevalent that that’s our guy.”

On what it says about him as a person that he could come back from such a serious injury: “It says a lot for his drive; says a lot for his fortitude. He’s a want-to guy. It says a lot about that. You’ve still got to strap on the pads and make plays.”

On whether picking up a second-round pick was a priority for him today: “To pick up some picks was the top priority. Whether that would have been a two, then we’re excited to get the two. 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.”

On whether Hayden will be cleared to go for OTAs: “He’s totally cleared.”

On whether he was nervous that another team, like the Jets, would take Hayden: “Yes. When you lose a player like Darrelle Revis, I knew they were going to pick a corner. They went with the other guy, and we got our guy.”

On whom he might have chosen had the Jets took Hayden: “I’m going to say no comment on that one. When you move back, we had some guys that, if our guy wasn’t there, we had about five other guys that we were going to look into.”

On Hayden’s personality: “What I look for, is he approachable? Does he seem like one of those guys that’s going to be coachable and going to 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 that we had from his past coaches and all the scouting information. When you watch him play, you can tell the guy loves football. Sometimes you like to look in a guy’s eyes when he tells you his answers. He passed.”

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