Originally written on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 4/25/13
DJ Hayden is one of the top cornerback prospects in the NFL Draft, and there is speculation that he could go as high as No. 3 overall to the Oakland Raiders. Such a rise in his status is pretty shocking. CBS Sports’ Jason LaCanfora reported on Twitter Thursday that “several execs picking early in round 1 believe OAK will take corner DJ Hayden 3rd overall if they keep the pick.” Hayden is considered one of the top cornerbacks in the draft, but many had Alabama’s Dee Milliner as the top corner. The problem is both players have medical concerns. Hayden was hit by a teammate’s knee in the chest during practice on Nov. 6. The hit tore a vein near his heart, and he was luckily taken to a trauma center immediately to be treated. Had he not been taken to the trauma center right away, there is strong speculation he could have died from the injury. Hayden had surgery that left him with a massive scar that goes down the middle of his chest. His weight dropped by about 30 pounds, but he began recovering over time. He even ran a 4.33 40-yard dash time at Houston’s pro day, which helped give his draft stock a big boost. Milliner underwent shoulder surgery in March to repair a torn labrum. Additionally, reports came out saying Milliner had a rod inserted in his tibia near his ankle, a knee scope and a hernia surgery. Milliner has been listed as a strong possibility for the Browns at No. 6. It’s starting to seem like teams may be more confident in Hayden’s health than Milliner’s. Below are a few highlight videos of Hayden. You’ll notice his speed and physical play stand out:
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