D.J. Hayden CB Houston #2
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Size/Athleticism: Adequate height, but a little too skinny. He’ll struggle when matched up with more physical corners and may be limited to playing nickel corner in the NFL.
Coverage: Overly aggressive at the line of scrimmage sometimes and he’ll get beat by receivers who really have no business getting over the top against him. He seems to trust his speed a little too much at times. Has the speed to stay with just about any receiver down the field. He is exceptionally quick and should excel against faster receivers in the slot.
Ball skills: Fairly reliable hands when he’s in position to make a play on the ball, but he needs to be more consistent in putting himself in those positions. A threat with the ball in his hands; returned two of his four interceptions for touchdowns as a senior.
Run support: Gives a decent effort and has the speed to make plays in pursuit. However, he’s undersized and often does little more than slow down the ball carrier. Occasionally used to blitz.
Intangibles: JUCO transfer with only two years experience in Conference USA. Hasn’t faced a ton of top competition.
Durability: Suffered a serious injury to his heart while making a tackle during practice in Nov. 2012 and nearly died. The injury required immediate surgery and he missed the remainder of the season. It was a freak accident, but due to his slender build he does have durability concerns. Did not work out at his pro day due to a hamstring injury.
Comments: Hayden is one of the better athletes in this draft class, but his size limits his upside. He will be a quality nickel corner, but his upside as an outside corner may be limited. He will struggle against true No. 1 receivers and could be a liability in certain matchups.