Based on his performance alone, Houston cornerback D.J. Hayden was going to be a name to watch in the 2013 draft.
The fact that he survived a freak injury during a Cougars practice last season that could have ended his life has made people pay even closer attention. Hayden severed his inferior vena cava, the vein that carries blood from the lower half of the body to the heart, when he took an otherwise unremarkable hit at practice and survived thanks to quick attention from trainers and doctors.
Hayden is fully healed now and Adam Schefter reports that he held a workout for NFL teams in Houston on Monday. If Hayden does well, he could wind up hearing his names called fairly early on Thursday. Mike Mayock of the NFL Network ranks him as the best cornerback in the draft, ahead of Alabama’s Dee Milliner, and there’s been increasing buzz that he’ll be off the board sooner rather than later.
Schefter didn’t have details on which teams were in attendance, though Randy McIlvoy of KPRC reports 10 teams were in attendance. The one observer that both men mention by name is Jets coach Rex Ryan. As you’ve likely heard by now, Ryan’s club just lost a pretty decent cornerback and they could look to use the first-round pick they got from Tampa for Darrelle Revis to bring in his replacement.