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Old 03-21-2013, 08:57 AM   #1325
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 13,406

Originally Posted by Requiem View Post
Second round? No way.
You're wrong. In addition to the snippet posted by CBF1 in his selection post that makes that projection, here's another:

D.J. Hayden, CB, Houston (Scouts Inc. Grade: 84)

There's a big reason no one is talking about Hayden. In practice this past November, Hayden tore his inferior vena cava, a major vein that feeds the heart, in a collision with a teammate in practice. He was in the hospital for six days with an injury that typically holds about a 95 percent fatality rate and that is common in high-speed car accidents. It's a minor miracle that he survived the injury.

He hasn't been able to work out and run for teams, and that's why he hasn't received a lot of buzz during the draft process. Most reports from scouts I've talked to are that he is on pace to be ready for action in the fall. He's starting to do a little light jogging, but he hasn't been able to test. However, his tape ranks near the top of all the cornerback prospects I've studied so far.

Against UCLA, you see a player who is instinctive, fluid and quick. He also shows an explosive closing burst and can make up ground in a hurry. A clear example came in the second half when he was initially beaten on a post route but was able to transition quickly with a speed-turn and track the receiver to make a play on the ball. Throw in a pair a of interceptions when he showed strong awareness and eyes to key Bruins QB Brett Hundley, come off of his primary assignment and track the ball. Hayden turned in a complete game.

The UCLA tape was not the only one when he flashed playmaking instincts. Against UTEP, Hayden jumped a slant route for an interception deep in his own territory before showing an extra gear to cut across the grain and run away from pursuit on his way to a 97-yard return for a touchdown. It was one of the more impressive plays I have seen during my film study this year. I also like his willingness to step up and set the edge in run support, which is a critical component scouts look for with the position.

Hayden checked in at the combine at 5-foot-11 and 191 pounds and has above-average size. Whether it's in the third round or he falls to Day 3, the team that takes Hayden will be getting a talented player and eventual starter. He's an early-second-round talent on tape, but because of the injury, a team might be able to get him in the third or fourth round. At that point, he'd be an absolute steal.

Last edited by BroncoInferno; 03-21-2013 at 09:02 AM..
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