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D.J. Hayden | Cornerback

Team: Houston Cougars
Age / DOB:  (27) / 6/27/1990
Ht / Wt:  6'0" / 192

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Recent News

Raiders selected Houston CB D.J. Hayden with the No. 12 overall pick.
This is one of two picks the Raiders received from the Dolphins for trading down. They used it to get their man, who fills a massive need in the secondary. Of course, the Raiders have massive needs at basically every spot on the field. One of the draft's true "risers," Hayden (5-11, 191) earned first-team All-CUSA honors as a senior despite being limited to nine games by a torn heart cavity suffered in a fluke practice collision. He was medically cleared this offseason, and was buoyed by phenomenal tape. Rated the draft's No. 1 corner by Mike Mayock, Greg Cosell and Doug Farrar, Hayden is blessed with exceptionally quick and sudden feet, plays aggressively on the ball and has extensive experience as a "matchup" cover man, shadowing No. 1 receivers. Also a takeaway specialist, Hayden racked up six picks, six forced fumbles and 11 tackles for loss across 22 college starts. Thu, Apr 25, 2013 09:39:00 PM

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Player News


NFL Network's Ian Rapoport mentioned when speaking to a scout about Houston CB D.J. Hayden's tape, the evaluator started giggling.

"For a guy no one talked about a month ago, the buzz is nuts," Rapoport tweeted. "People love his tape." As they should. Unlike other prospects with injury questions, Hayden appears to be gaining steam and could be a top 20 selection thanks to his ball skills after locating the target in man coverage and his ability to quickly undercut routes.
Wed, Apr 24, 2013 11:44:00 AM

KPRC-TV Houston's Randy Mcllvoy says the New York Jets were impressed with Houston CB D.J. Hayden.

Hayden worked out for 10 teams on Monday and apparently impressed the Jets. They hold the No. 9 and 13 selections in the draft and have a significant hole at cornerback following the trade of star defender Darrelle Revis.
Mon, Apr 22, 2013 04:23:00 PM

Houston CB D.J. Hayden worked out for NFL teams on Monday.

Only one head coach was in attendance, the Jets' Rex Ryan. Hayden has consistently built buzz since his medicals have been cleared and has a shot to be one of the top corners selected on Thursday.
Mon, Apr 22, 2013 02:40:00 PM

SI's Peter King believes Houston CB D.J. Hayden might be the consensus top CB in this draft among teams.

Hayden ranks as the top corner on Greg Cosell and Mike Mayock's rankings, but everyone else seems to prefer other corners such as Dee Milliner, Xavier Rhodes, and Desmond Trufant. Our own Josh Norris ranks Hayden as the second best senior corner behind Boise State's Jamar Taylor. Expect the Houston corner to be a top 30 pick.
Mon, Apr 22, 2013 10:28:00 AM

NFL Network's Mike Mayock ranks Houston CB D.J. Hayden No. 14 among the top 100 prospects in the 2013 class.

Hayden ranks as the top corner, with Dee Milliner checking in at No. 16 and Xavier Rhodes at No. 20. The Houston defender's medicals appear to have checked out almost unanimously and he is a viable option from picks No. 20 to 30.
Fri, Apr 19, 2013 03:22:00 PM

Houston CB D.J. Hayden now sits atop Mayock's rankings at the position.

Dee Milliner ranks second. Hayden has very quick feet to close and locates the football with ease in man to disrupt the catch point. After talking with league execs, NFL insider Adam Caplan believes D.J.Hayden will be selected in the 20 to 30 range. It is great news for a corner who nearly died during practice due to a freak heart issue.
Thu, Apr 18, 2013 01:50:00 PM

National Football Post's Russ Lande writes Houston CB D.J. Hayden could go in the top 40 picks.

"...we have heard through NFL personnel that Hayden has been cleared medically by most teams and has made a big climb up draft boards... As one veteran NFL evaluator told us, Hayden is the most natural of the cornerbacks when it comes to coverage skills and ability to make plays on the ball. Additionally, teams like that Hayden consistently flies up the field and shows no willingness to make hard hits/tackles. For a player that scouts thought was done playing football after his injury, do not be shocked when his name gets called within the first 40 picks on the 2013 NFL Draft."
Tue, Apr 16, 2013 04:10:00 PM

Houston CB D.J. Hayden visited the 49ers on Monday.

NFL insider Adam Caplan notes many project Hayden as a late first- or early second-round pick. Also, the Houston corner's medical reports have been "very good from various teams," per Caplan. Hayden is a great talent who suffered a fluke heart injury during the fall. We wouldn't be surprised by a top 50 pick.
Tue, Apr 16, 2013 08:59:00 AM

Bengals DC Mike Zimmer "has spent loads of time investigating" Houston CB D.J. Hayden, according to SI's Tony Pauline.

King writes the Bengals like Georgia linebacker Alec Ogletree and Alabama running back Eddie Lacy, and also Hayden but notes it is "a strange one for this high." Hayden has top 50 talent but has dealt with a near fatal, freak, heart issue since the fall. King notes that Hayden as checked out "OK."
Mon, Apr 15, 2013 06:14:00 PM

After catching his first glimpse of Houston CB D.J. Hayden, NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah tweeted that he is "a big fan."

So are we. "Smooth, explosive and tough," Jeremiah said. "He can play the ball in the air. Hopefully medical checks out." Hayden is a second day talent that could be selected in the third-round. His medical is the biggest unknown in the entire class, since it is such a unique issue.
Sat, Apr 13, 2013 11:13:00 AM

ESPN's Kevin Weidl writes Houston CB D.J. Hayden is rising up draft boards.

"A torn vein in his heart suffered in a practice collision ended Hayden's 2012 season after nine games, but he was cleared medically at the NFL combine and reportedly ran a 4.42 in the 40-yard dash at his pro day," Weidl writes. "Hayden (5-foot-11⅛, 191 pounds) is an easy mover in coverage, with quick feet and a rare burst to close on the ball, but his playmaking instincts are what set him apart."
Tue, Apr 9, 2013 12:29:00 PM

Scouts Inc.'s Todd McShay warns to not be surprised if Houston CB D.J. Hayden is selected int he first-round.

We hate using this word, but this is quite a rise for Hayden. His tape is excellent, using very quick closing speed while locating the football to disrupt the catch point. However, teams rarely take prospects in the first-round with drastic health concerns. It was a freak injury, but will nonetheless concern some teams.
Fri, Apr 5, 2013 06:18:00 PM

Houston CB D.J. Hayden as eight team visits lined up, according to USA Today's Tony Pauline.

Not only will teams want to workout Hayden during those visits, individual medical tests will also be conducted. "Hayden has struggled with a hamstring issue and ran the forty just once at pro-day (albeit 4.42-seconds) after not running at the combine," Pauline writes. "We hear he hopes to resume workouts for teams around April 13th."
Mon, Apr 1, 2013 11:50:00 AM

NFL Network's Mike Mayock has moved Houston CB D.J. Hayden up to the third overall prospect at the position.

We love Hayden, but we aren't sure if he qualifies for the top five. There's a lot to like about the Houston product, specifically his closing speed and ability to find the football and disrupt the catch point. We would expect a second day selection if Hayden's medicals check out.
Fri, Mar 22, 2013 07:06:00 PM