November 24, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Cougars defensive back D.J. Hayden (2) is honored before a game against the Tulane Green Wave at Robertson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Cornerback won’t be high on the list of needs for the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2013 NFL Draft, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be drafting one in the first-round in they think he’s the best player available.
NFL Network Analyst Mike Mayock held a conference call today in preparation for next Thursday’s NFL Draft, and he specifically mentioned Houston cornerback D.J. Hayden as rising prospect, saying he thought Hayden was the top cornerback and #14 overall prospect, ahead of the more regarded Dee Milliner, Xavier Rhodes, and Desmond Trufant. Mayock then said Hayden could go as early as #10 to the Tennessee Titans, but shouldn’t drop past Bengals at #21st.
This falls in line with whatSports Illustrated’s Peter King wrote in his Monday Morning QB Column, in which he reported the Bengals have been showing significant interest in the former Houston Cougar.
Hayden missed the last month of the 2012 season after doctors diagnosed a tear of the inferior vena cava (IVC), or the largest vein in the body that is responsible for bringing blood from the lower half of the body back to the heart.
In the nine games he did start in 2012, he had four interceptions and eight pass breakups. Hayden was considered one of the top defensive back prospects prior to the injury, and now that he’s been given a clean bill of health, he could be drafted as high as the first-round.