NFL Draft 2013: D.J. Hayden prospect profile

Bob Levey

We scout University of Houston cornerback D.J. Hayden

D.J. Hayden may be a name you have not heard from day one of the draft process, but with the draft just days away, all analysts are talking about the prospect. A month ago Hayden was viewed as a late second or third round selection, and now he could wind up going in the first round. Hayden suffered a torn inferior vena cava (torn vein) during a November practice when a collision with a teammate led to a knee hitting Hayden's chest. This injury is fatal 95% of the time, but somehow Hayden survived the freak accident. Hayden has recovered fully, and put together a great pro day to substantially boost his stock. Hayden is a player to keep an eye on in part because he met with the 49ers last week.

The Basics:

Height: 5'11"
Weight: 191 lbs
40 Time: 4.40
Vertical Jump: 33.3"
Broad Jump: 10'00"

Do Your Homework: Watch Hayden take on UCLA


Pros:

  • Great instincts
  • Speed demon
  • Sound tackler (5 forced fumbles in 2011)
  • Hard hitter
  • Ball Skills (6 interceptions in 2011, 4 interceptions in 2012)

Cons:

  • Injury Concerns
  • Gets boxed out when being blocked too often

Does He Fit The 49ers?

Hayden would fit the 49ers like your favorite pair of shoes; he's the real deal and he can fit any team. Hayden is a very strong cornerback who can play both man and zone coverage, meaning he can be plugged into any scheme. If the 49ers were to acquire Hayden, they would have the best group of cornerbacks in the NFL. There isn't a part of Hayden's game that would turn a team away from wanting to draft him. Watch the tape on Hayden, and you will agree that he is one of the most "complete" corners in the draft. Of course, the 49ers depth at cornerback is relatively deep for the 2013 season, but it could make sense in getting another cornerback that would be a 49er for years to come. The 49ers wouldn't have met with Hayden if they weren't interested in him.

What They Are Saying:

- Mike Mayock ranks Hayden as his No. 1 cornerback

- Check out Hayden's stats here.

Conclusion:

While Hayden would be a nice addition for the 49ers, I don't think he will be there at pick No. 31 or No. 34. If he falls, the Niners should not hesitate to draft him. If they are in a situation where they will have to trade up, it would not be wise to trade away picks for a position that really isn't a "need". Whoever lands Hayden will get a cornerback who can become a pro bowl player in his first season.

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