D.J. Hayden's remarkable comeback from a near-death experience has taken him to the first round of the NFL draft.
The Oakland Raiders selected the former Houston cornerback with the 12th overall pick after trading down nine spots to get a second rounder from Miami on Thursday night.
Hayden was just moments from death last November after an on-field collision with a teammate in practice tore a blood vessel off the back of his heart. He was rushed into immediate surgery for a tear of the inferior vena cava, the large vein that carries blood from the lower half of the body to the heart.
The injury is 95 percent fatal in the field, according to doctors, and is most commonly associated with high-speed motor vehicle injuries.
''I was just wondering if I would walk straight again,'' Hayden said. ''That's what was on my mind, just walking straight again. I wasn't worried about life after football, life after college, I was just worried about walking.''
But after a week of self-describe...