D.J. Hayden, CB, Houston Cougars: 2013 NFL Draft Player Profile


Sep 17, 2011; Ruston, LA, USA; Houston Cougars defensive back D.J. Hayden (2) during the second half in the game against the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs at Joe Aillet Stadium. Houston won 35-34. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

Height: 5’11”

Weight: 191 pounds

Position Rank: 2nd

Drafted By: Oakland Raiders (1st round, 12th overall)

40 Yard Dash: 4.40

Bench Press: DNP

Vertical Jump: 33.5″

Broad Jump: 120″

Career Highlights (via Houston athletics site)

2012 First Team All-Conference USA
• 2011 Conference USA Defensive Newcomer of the Year
• 2011 Second Team All-Conference USA

Senior (2012): Started the first nine games of the season before suffering a season-ending tear of the inferior vena cava in the heart from a freak collision in practice … earned first team All-Conference USA honors despite the injury … was second on the team with four interceptions and eight pass breakups … returned two of his four interceptions for touchdowns with a 75-yard return at SMU and a 95-yard return vs. UTEP … his TD return vs. UTEP marked his second interception against the Miners as he also picked off a pass at UCLA … also forced a fumble at UCLA and recovered a fumble against UAB … career-high 10 tackles against Louisiana Tech and has back-to-back nine-tackle games against North Texas and UAB.

Junior (2011): Conference USA Defensive Newcomer of the Year … Second Team All-Conference USA … One of the country’s top junior college newcomers and was a shutdown corner for the UH defense … Led the club with 11 passes broken up … Finished fifth on the club with two interceptions … Forced a team-leading five fumbles … Forced a fumble in each of the season’s final five games … Recovered two fumbles … Had eight tackles for loss and a sack … Had 66 tackles, including 52 solo stops … Returned an interception 54 yards for a score at UAB … Had two tackles for loss in the 2012 TicketCity Bowl win against Penn State … Had five tackles, two tackles-for-loss, forced a fumble and recovered a fumble vs. Rice … Had nine tackles against Marshall and eight stops against Tulsa and Southern Miss.

Junior College: Helped lead Navarro College to the 2010 NJCAA national championship … Played in all 11 games, posting 35 tackles, including 33 solo stops as a sophomore in 2010 … Ranked No. 41 on Rivals.com’s Top-50 Junior College players … Had three interceptions, returning one for a touchdown … Registered six passes broken up … Team allowed only 226 yards of total offense, which ranked 12th in the NJCAA and 115 yards passing which was good for 17th nationally … Played in 10 games as a freshman in 2009 with 23 tackles and one TFL … Junior College coach was Nick Bobeck … Chose Houston over Arkansas, TCU, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State and Ole Miss.

Career Stats

2011135214661 / 108 / 2852112 / 58
201293823613 / 31184 / 171
TOTAL2290371271 / 1011 / 3163196 / 229

Scouting Report/Player Notes

Aside from a freak injury in early November, D.J. Hayden had a tremendous rise to the top of the CB class in his senior season at Houston. He has good size at 5’11” 191 pounds and is blazing fast, both on the field and in workouts. What you really notice about him is his elite closing speed. He has great instincts from the cornerback position and makes better plays on the ball than most of the players I’ve evaluated in this class. Has a fiery competitiveness about him that is intriguing to me. Seems to get his teammates fired up with his enthusiasm, especially when he makes a big interception or pass breakup. I love his willingness to take part in the running game, and his willingness also to hit people in general. The injury he suffered in November was a torn vein in his heart, which had pretty much removed him from all draft boards. Then, he overcame the odds and proved to everyone he was healthy and ready to play in the NFL.

This is a guy who has a nose for the ball, and he has a really intriguing competitive drive. I would not be surprised to see him picked in the first round now that he is fully healthy.

Video Highlights (via YouTube)