Houston's D.J. Hayden Drafted 12th Overall by Oakland Raiders
April 25, 2013
Houston's D.J. Hayden was drafted 12th overall Thursday night by the Oakland Raiders in the first round of the NFL Draft. A medical miracle after suffering a tear of the inferior vena cava in a practice collision on Nov. 6, Hayden is the 12th first-round pick in Houston history and the first ever UH defensive back to be selected in the first round.
His selection at No. 12 overall marks the second-highest that a C-USA player has ever been selected. Memphis DL Dontari Poe was chosen at No. 11 by the Kansas City Chiefs last year.
Hayden is the first Houston player to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft since running back Antowain Smith was selected 21st overall by the Buffalo Bills.
After suffering an injury that is 95 percent fatal and had never been seen before in football, Hayden was released from Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston after just six days, much sooner than the expected six weeks originally expected by medical professionals.
Prior to his injury that forced him to miss the final three games of the 2012 season, Hayden recorded four interceptions, two of which he returned for touchdowns, and eight pass breakups en route to being named first team All-Conference USA.
In his two years at Houston, after transferring from Navarro Junior College, Hayden accumulated 127 tackles, six forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, 19 pass break ups and 16 interceptions.