Hayden with the Raiders in 2014
|No. 25 – Jacksonville Jaguars|
|Born:||June 27, 1990|
|Height:||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Weight:||190 lb (86 kg)|
|High school:||Elkins (Missouri City, Texas)|
|NFL Draft:||2013 / Round: 1 / Pick: 12|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics as of Week 9, 2019|
Derek Sherrard "D. J." Hayden, Jr. (born June 27, 1990) is an American football cornerback for the Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the University of Houston and was drafted by the Oakland Raiders 12th overall in the 2013 NFL Draft. Hayden has also played for the Detroit Lions.
High school career
In 2009, Hayden played 10 games as a freshman at Navarro College and recorded 23 tackles and one for loss. In his sophomore year, he helped lead Navarro College its second NJCAA National Football Championship in the 2010 season. During the year, he played in all 11 games and recorded 33 solo tackles. In addition, he had six pass breakups and three interceptions with one returned for a touchdown. He also ranked #41 on Rivals.com's Top 50 Junior College players list. Hayden committed to University of Houston on June 8, 2010, and enrolled in the university in 2011; thereafter, he played for the Houston Cougars football team in 2011 and 2012.
Hayden played very well the first year with the Cougars. He instantly became a shutdown corner for the Houston defense and he led the team with 11 passes broken up. He also recorded 52 solo tackles, two interceptions with one touchdown return, 1.0 sacks, and a team-leading five forced fumbles. The season ended in the 2012 TicketCity Bowl with a win against #23 Penn State.
Hayden started the first nine games of the season in top form. Over that span, he had 61 total tackles, eight passes defended, and four interceptions. Two of those interceptions were returned for touchdowns. During practice, before his team's tenth game, he suffered a season-ending and life-threatening injury. He collided with a safety in a passing drill where the safety's knee struck DJ in his chest. The collision tore the inferior vena cava in his heart. The injury itself is most commonly seen in high-speed vehicle accidents, and the fatality rate is 95% due to the massive loss of blood. He told the media at the NFL Combine that after the accident he couldn't see much out of his left eye. It just went pitch black and he suddenly felt cold and sleepy.
Despite the injury, Hayden earned first team All-Conference USA honors.
Coming out of Houston, Hayden was a projected first or second round pick by the majority of NFL draft experts and analysts. He received an invitation to the NFL Combine, but was unable to perform any physical drills due to recovering from his surgery. On March 18, 2013, he participated at Houston's Pro Day and completed the majority of drills, missing the bench, short shuttle, and three-cone drill after injuring a hamstring on his second attempt at the 40-yard dash. Hayden was ranked as the top cornerback prospect in the draft by NFL analyst Mike Mayock, ranked the seventh cornerback in the draft by NFL analyst John Norris, and the fourth best cornerback by NFLDraftScout.com.
|Ht||Wt||Arm length||Hand size||40-yard dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20-ss||3-cone||Vert jump||Broad|
|5 ft 11 1⁄8 in
|31 1⁄8 in
|4.53 s||1.57 s||2.60 s||33 1⁄2 in
|10 ft 0 in|
|All values from Houston Pro Day/NFL Combine|
The Oakland Raiders selected Hayden in the first round (12th overall) of the 2013 NFL Draft. He was the second cornerback taken that year, after Dee Milliner. Hayden is the highest selected defensive player from Houston since Wilson Whitley in 1977. During the Raiders' organized team activities (OTAs), Hayden was hospitalized with abdominal adhesions relating to his previous surgery and was able to have them removed.
He competed with Mike Jenkins, Tracy Porter, Joselio Hanson, and Phillip Adams throughout training camp for the starting cornerback position. Head coach Dennis Allen named him the third cornerback on the Raider's depth chart behind Jenkins and Porter to begin the regular season.
He made his professional regular season debut during the Raiders' 17–21 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, finishing with three solo tackles. On September 23, 2013, Hayden earned his first career start and made two solo tackles during 21–37 loss to the Denver Broncos. On October 6, 2013, he made a season-high seven combined tackles, deflected a pass, and intercepted Philip Rivers for the first interception of his career during a 17–27 victory over the San Diego Chargers. The following week, he made two solo tackles and forced the first fumble of his career in a 24–7 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
On November 20, 2013, it was reported that Hayden would be placed on injured reserve for the remainder of his rookie season after undergoing sports hernia surgery. He finished his rookie campaign with 25 combined tackles (22 solo), two pass deflections, an interception, and a forced fumble in two starts and eight games.
On October 26, 2014, Hayden made his season debut during a 13–23 loss to the Cleveland Browns. The next week, he made seven combined tackles and a pass deflection in a 24–30 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. In Week 10, Hayden made his first start of the season and finished the game with three solo tackles and three pass deflections, and intercepted Denver Broncos' quarterback Peyton Manning during a 17–41 loss. In Week 16, he recorded a season-high six solo tackles and deflected a pass as the Raiders defeated the Buffalo Bills, 26–24. He finished 2014 with 47 combined tackles (42 solo), ten pass deflections, and an interception in eight starts and ten games.
Hayden entered training camp slated as a starting cornerback after the Raiders chose not to re-sign Carlos Rogers and Tarell Brown. The Oakland Raiders' new head coach, Jack Del Rio, named Hayden the starting corner, along with T. J. Carrie, to begin the regular season.
Hayden started the Raiders' season-opening loss to the Cincinnati Bengals and collected four combined tackles. On October 25, 2015, he recorded ten solo tackles, deflected a pass, and intercepted San Diego Chargers' quarterback Philip Rivers in a 37–29 victory. The following week, he accumulated three combined tackles, deflected a pass, and sacked Geno Smith for the first sack of his career in a 34–20 victory over the New York Jets. In Week 9, Hayden made a career-high 13 combined tackles as the Raiders lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers, 35–38. He finished the season with a career-high 70 combined tackles (64 solo), eight pass deflections, a sack, and an interception in 16 games and 13 starts.
On May 2, 2016, the Oakland Raiders announced that they would not be picking up Hayden's fifth-year option on his rookie contract.
Hayden competed with Sean Smith, David Amerson, and T. J. Carrie for a starting cornerback position. He was named the fourth cornerback on the Raider's depth chart behind Smith, Amerson, and Carrie.
On October 2, 2016, he recorded a season-high six combined tackles and a pass deflection during a 28-27 victory over the Baltimore Ravens. In Week 7, he collected a season-high five solo tackles and made two pass deflections during a victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. On November 6, 2016, Hayden made his first start of the season and.recorded two combined tackles and a pass deflection, as the Raiders defeated the Denver Broncos 30-20. He finished his final year in Oakland with 37 combined tackles (32 solo) and six pass deflections in 11 games and two starts.
On December 3, 2016, Hayden was placed on injured reserve with a hamstring injury.
He competed with Nevin Lawson, Teez Tabor, and Quandre Diggs throughout training camp for a starting cornerback position. He was named the Detroit Lions' third cornerback on their depth chart to begin the regular season, behind Darius Slay and Nevin Lawson.
In his debut with the Detroit Lions, Hayden recorded three solo tackles in a 35–23 win against the Arizona Cardinals. On September 24, 2017, he recorded a season-high seven combined tackles during a 26–30 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. On November 19, 2017, Hayden recovered the fumble after Chicago Bears' quarterback Mitchell Trubisky bobbled the snap. Hayden returned it for a 27-yard touchdown and also assisted on a tackle during the Lions' 27–24 victory.
- Key to Abbreviations
GP = Games played
GS = Games started
Comb = Combined tackles
Solo = Solo tackles
Asst = Assisted tackles
Sack = Quarterback sacks
Int = Interceptions
Yds = Interception return yards
Avg = Average interception return
Lng = Longest interception return
TD = Interception return touchdowns
PD = Passes defended
FF = Fumbles forced
FR = Fumbles recovered
Yds = Fumble return yards
TD = Fumble return touchdowns
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- Oehser, John (March 15, 2018). "OFFICIAL: Hayden signs". Jaguars.com. Archived from the original on March 16, 2018. Retrieved March 16, 2018.