Raiders’ DJ Hayden just had his best day as a pro cornerback

The Raiders' top pick in 2013 is doing a great job off shedding that bust label.
Jake Roth/Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

DJ Hayden has put three years of disappointing play behind him.

It's his job as a cornerback to possess a short memory. And he's been doing that job incredibly well to start his third NFL season.

“DJ takes a lot of criticism,” safety Charles Woodson told CSN Bay Area's Scott Bair. “You read it a lot about him, but I think he just lets it roll off his back.”

Good luck finding Hayden's critics now. The former first-round pick tallied 10 tackles, an interception, a forced fumble and a pass defensed in Oakland's breakthrough win at Qualcomm Stadium on Sunday.

He's hitting his stride when the Raiders need him most. The team was forced to shift its other starting corner, T.J. Carrie, to safety due to injury; Hayden's emergence helped lessen the blow.

Just ask Philip Rivers what Hayden means to the Raiders. The Chargers' quarterback was held in check for the better part of three quarters by No. 25.

“I feel like we can be the best defense in the league,” Hayden said. “We just have to go out and do what we do.”

(h/t CSN Bay Area)

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