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Wow. DJ Hayden....top CB

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Posted: 04/18/2013 2:51 PM

Wow. DJ Hayden....top CB 


Cosell and Mayock rank Hayden #1 CB.
 
This means Trufant and Rhodes may fall a little.

Houston cornerback D.J. Hayden is the best story of the 2013 NFL Draft. He was minutes away from dying last November after an on-field collision tore the vena cava blood vessel off the back of his heart -- an injury never before seen in a high-level athlete.

"This was a non-survivable injury, unless everything works absolutely perfectly," Dr. Ron Albarado told NFL Network's Andrea Kremer.

Fortunately, it did.

Hayden entered the draft process with speed and medical concerns. He erased doubts about his speed by blazing a sub-4.40 40-yard dash as Houston's Pro Day. In a pre-draft conference call Thursday, NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock suggested that Hayden now has checked out medically in most draft rooms.

"Most of the teams have come to the conclusion that it was a once-in-a-gazillion situation," Mayock said. "That has no more chance of happening than it did in the first place."

After going back to the film to appreciate Hayden's toughness and tackling ability, Mayock has vaulted Hayden all the way to No. 1 among cornerbacks, ahead of consensus favorite Dee Milliner of Alabama. Hayden also is the top cornerback on NFL Films analyst Greg Cosell's board.

Mayock was particularly impressed with Hayden's performance against Louisiana Tech when he got in second-round wide receiver prospect Quinton Patton's jock and shut him down. "The kid couldn't get off the line," Mayock told the Rich Eisen podcast.

Maycok currently ranks Hayden as the No. 14 overall prospect in the draft.

Last edited 04/18/2013 2:53 PM by uncleloggins

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Posted: 04/18/2013 3:09 PM

Re: Wow. DJ Hayden....top CB 


Hayden's a nice story, but I don't see how he is the #1 Corner....no way.
2011, he had 2 INT's  playing in Conference USA, and those came against North Texas & UAB.
2012, he had 4 INT's, with 3 of those coming against the likes of UTEP(2) & Southern Methodist(1).

He's got some talent and its a great story of perseverance...but he is not the #1 CB in this draft class.

Last edited 04/18/2013 3:10 PM by NashvilleNiner

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Posted: 04/18/2013 3:21 PM

Re: Wow. DJ Hayden....top CB 


College stats are really not the best way to evaluate prospects. Physical abilities that will translate to the NFL game and technique, in addition to how he looks in terms of instincts, are really the keys. I won't claim to be a huge expert on Hayden, but he may not have been challenged much or he may have had good enough coverage that the quarterback threw inaccurately trying to find a way to get the ball past Hayden, or simply threw it away, limiting Hayden's opportunities to turn the ball over.

Also, to be clear, I'm not asserting that Hayden is definitely the best corner in the draft, but I think it's a bit unreasonable to state definitively that he is not when extremely respected analysts are saying that he is, or might be.

My limited looks at his play suggest to me that he has a ton of talent. More than Milliner? I don't know, but I don't think it's out of the question. I do like Hayden more than Rhodes, whom I think is solid but his "physicality" sometimes strikes me as pass interference and I'm not sure how much he'll be able to get away with that in the NFL. He doesn't strike me as as fluid as Hayden or Milliner.

Last edited 04/18/2013 3:39 PM by Minstrel

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Posted: 04/18/2013 4:06 PM

Re: Wow. DJ Hayden....top CB 


INT are not the end-all, be-all indicator for CB success in the NFL. I mean, if you used INT and competition as the determining factor, you'd never have considered Darrelle Revis a top CB prospect when he was drafted in 2006.

He had 2 INT his final year, and 4 the prior year.

In 2006, his interceptions came against the following:
- Virginia (5-7) - QB (Christian Olsen) who had 23 total passes up to the game he played against Pittsburgh and was benched two games into the year.
- Cincinnati (8-5) - QB (Dustin Grutza) sophomore QB who would finish that season, his best in college, with 9 TD and 13 INT.

In 2005, his interceptions came against the following:
- Notre Dame (9-3) - QB (Brady Quinn) His lone INT against a NFL caliber QB over his final two years as a starter.
- Youngstown State (8-3 FBS) - QB (Tom Zetts) Redshirt Sophomore QB in a FBS division.
- Rutgers (7-5) - QB (Ryan Hart) Senior QB on Rutgers team best known for ground attack (Ray Rice, Brian Leonard) and for his lawsuit against EA Sports
- Syracuse (1-10) - QB (Perry Patterson) Junior QB who finished 2005 season with 6 TD and 11 INT (including 3 against Pitt)


Hayden was an early favorite coming into 2012 to be one of the top CB, after he was a big reason they went 13-1 in 2011. The reason he has fallen is because he missed a lot of 2012 AND he suffered a major injury that could potentially keep him sidelined for part of the 2013 NFL season. On talent, though, his tape is pretty impressive. He shows really good coverage skills. I don't know that he's as good in run support as some, but he is a willing tackler. He also is a little on the smaller side for CB, but not so much that it should effect his abilities to cover.

To me, I think his injury and lack of a complete resume hurts a little bit, but I can see why he's climbing boards. His 2012 resume, despite the injury, is impressive. 4 INT for 171 yds in 9 games? That's pretty good. UTEP may not be a great opponent, but he had two INT, including a 97 yard return for a TD that was a pretty good example of a guy reading the route and jumping the pattern at the goal line. SMU's QB was Garrett Gilbert (son of former NFL QB, Gale Gilbert, and Texas prodigy who originally replaced Colt McCoy at Texas), and that INT was also a real showcase of his reaction time and recovery speed, as he saw the WR sit down on his route, and cut back to take the INT to the house.

Now, I would agree that it might be hard to see how he beats out Millner, who has been every bit as good in all phases, but I could see why he might be considered right up there with the others. Xavier Rhodes' has great size and is a very physical press-corner, but are his instincts top notch? Desmond Trufant has a great pedigree and shows good instincts in coverage, but is he physical enough to play press?

As I've said before, I really like the tape on Jamar Taylor, and think he might be the best CB that will be available in the 49ers range, but I can certainly see why Hayden has supporters. Mayock, as a former DB himself, is pretty astute in analyzing the prospects. And Cosell, while I may not agree with some of his philosophical points about scheme all the time, may be the guy who watches the most film (and he gets access to all the 'All-22' film that the NFL provides) of anybody in the business.
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Posted: 04/18/2013 5:42 PM

RE: Wow. DJ Hayden....top CB 


interesting stuff. i listen anytime mayock has a strong opinion on somebody. he's not always right and i don't always agree. same with cosell, who is known to have contrary opinions on some top prospects. but that;s the point- if every player panned out exactly how the majority of scouts believed they would....this would all be a simple process. but the fact is, it's not an exact science and sometimes opinions that seem a bit 'out there' end up being spot on.

that may not be the case with hayden but i'm just saying i wouldn't immediately dismiss their projection.

"You are either getting better or you are getting worse; you never stay the same."

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Posted: 04/19/2013 6:57 AM

Re: Wow. DJ Hayden....top CB 



Minstrel wrote: College stats are really not the best way to evaluate prospects. Physical abilities that will translate to the NFL game and technique, in addition to how he looks in terms of instincts, are really the keys. I won't claim to be a huge expert on Hayden, but he may not have been challenged much or he may have had good enough coverage that the quarterback threw inaccurately trying to find a way to get the ball past Hayden, or simply threw it away, limiting Hayden's opportunities to turn the ball over.

Also, to be clear, I'm not asserting that Hayden is definitely the best corner in the draft, but I think it's a bit unreasonable to state definitively that he is not when extremely respected analysts are saying that he is, or might be.

My limited looks at his play suggest to me that he has a ton of talent. More than Milliner? I don't know, but I don't think it's out of the question. I do like Hayden more than Rhodes, whom I think is solid but his "physicality" sometimes strikes me as pass interference and I'm not sure how much he'll be able to get away with that in the NFL. He doesn't strike me as as fluid as Hayden or Milliner.

Yes, stats aren't the end-all be-all, but they are certainly more important than combine/pro day numbers.
And if you're in a lesser Conference/Division, you need to dominate your competition.  And stats are an indication of this.
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Posted: 04/19/2013 8:20 AM

Re: Wow. DJ Hayden....top CB 



NashvilleNiner wrote:
Yes, stats aren't the end-all be-all, but they are certainly more important than combine/pro day numbers.
And if you're in a lesser Conference/Division, you need to dominate your competition.  And stats are an indication of this.

That has some validity for an offensive player. However, even at the NFL level, interceptions aren't the best measure of dominance for a cornerback. Hayden may very well have dominated in his conference, regardless of interception numbers.
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Posted: 04/19/2013 8:33 AM

Re: Wow. DJ Hayden....top CB 



Minstrel wrote:
NashvilleNiner wrote:
Yes, stats aren't the end-all be-all, but they are certainly more important than combine/pro day numbers.
And if you're in a lesser Conference/Division, you need to dominate your competition.  And stats are an indication of this.

That has some validity for an offensive player. However, even at the NFL level, interceptions aren't the best measure of dominance for a cornerback. Hayden may very well have dominated in his conference, regardless of interception numbers.

Get what you're saying, and Dee Milliner wasn't exactly an INT machine either...but still, he was going against SEC quality QB's & WR's, several of whom will be drafted fairly high this year .  There is a big difference in competition, which is why I'd still put the likes of Milliner, Rhodes, Trufant, and Banks ahead of Hayden at this point.
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Posted: 04/19/2013 8:35 AM

RE: Wow. DJ Hayden....top CB 


Mayock either is a victim of needing to create "news" at NFLN or is the perpetrator himself. In the last few weeks he has flipped OTs Joeckel and Fisher, WRs Patterson and Austin and now this CB switch. Most draft boards and scouting boards were set a few weeks ago and I really don't know why he seems to be the only one switching around his board.

Don't get me wrong though, the NFL Network needs to do this stuff. They don't have enough programming to allow the draft to sit for a few weeks. But as for ranking the top guys (however much it matters when media scouts do it), the consensus still is that Milliner is the top CB and that Xavier Rhodes is #2 and then maybe Hayden. In my opinion, I think Blidi Wreh-Wilson is going to top them all on Sundays.
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Posted: 04/19/2013 8:49 AM

RE: Wow. DJ Hayden....top CB 


it's not just about dominating the competition though- danny weurfel dominated the competition as an SEC QB at florida some years ago.

it's much more than that- it's about seeing their physical skills and projecting how they will translate to the nfl level.

"You are either getting better or you are getting worse; you never stay the same."

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Posted: 04/19/2013 9:02 AM

RE: Wow. DJ Hayden....top CB 



higherwarrior wrote: it's not just about dominating the competition though- danny weurfel dominated the competition as an SEC QB at florida some years ago.

it's much more than that- it's about seeing their physical skills and projecting how they will translate to the nfl level.

Quarterbacks are a diffferent animal, IMO. 
Its more like Donatari Poe last year also coming out of C-USA, great physical numbers, but not great production, even though he was in a lesser Conference.  Those kind of players worry me.
Again, not saying he's not a talented guy who warrants a look in maybe Round 2, but he's not the #1 CB in this class.
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Posted: 04/19/2013 9:46 AM

RE: Wow. DJ Hayden....top CB 


Again, you're still equating production to INT, which is a false analogy. Why is it that you feel INT is the key indicator? It's not. As noted, Darrelle Revis, the consenus "best safety" in the NFL, did not have big INT numbers. He hasn't even really had big INT numbers in the pros (19 in about the equivalent of 5 pro seasons).

CB are evaluated on a number of criteria. The better indicators, in fact, are usually number of targets vs. number of catches, with PD, INT, etc. weighed in. Their coverage abilities, their tackling abilities, etc.. are all examined, and most scouts felt Hayden was a top-5 CB candidate prior to this season.

Dontari Poe, conversely, was universally regarded as someone who was not terribly productive (statistically or on tape). He sort of ended up fitting the classic 'Mike Mamula' or 'Vernon Gholston' model of workout warrior. That's not the case with Hayden.

I, personally, wouldn't rate him #1, but I'm an amateur. From what I can see, I would definitely rate him in the top-5, and I personally like him more than Xavier rhodes, who, to me, doesn't look to have the best instincts. I would rate Millner #1, Trufant #2, Taylor #3, Hayden #4, and Rhodes #5 (perhaps tied with Jonathan Banks), and I really think Trufant, Taylor and Hayden are not separated by much. I rate Hayden lower primarily because I do think the injury is a concern at least in terms of immediate productivity.

Now, in our system, maybe Banks or Rhodes would get more of a look, since the 49ers do like press-corners on the outside, but the 49ers do also need guys who can cover the slot and be versatile.

Bottom line, if you're opinion is different than Mayock and Cosell, that's fine. But I think it's a little presumptuous to say "there's no way this guy is the #1." They have probably forgotten a lot more football than we'll ever know. I absolutely can see why they may make those evaluations. Hayden's good. If he hadn't suffered that injury, I absolutely could see him having been a lock for the 1st round.

Note, too..  he had 4 INT in 9 games this year. That would have put him on pace for 6 INT if he played the full season. He did dominate WR, too, in his conference (see his game vs. Quinton Patton).
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Posted: 04/19/2013 10:03 AM

RE: Wow. DJ Hayden....top CB 



pudding wrote: Again, you're still equating production to INT, which is a false analogy. Why is it that you feel INT is the key indicator? It's not. As noted, Darrelle Revis, the consenus "best safety" in the NFL, did not have big INT numbers. He hasn't even really had big INT numbers in the pros (19 in about the equivalent of 5 pro seasons).

CB are evaluated on a number of criteria. The better indicators, in fact, are usually number of targets vs. number of catches, with PD, INT, etc. weighed in. Their coverage abilities, their tackling abilities, etc.. are all examined, and most scouts felt Hayden was a top-5 CB candidate prior to this season.

Dontari Poe, conversely, was universally regarded as someone who was not terribly productive (statistically or on tape). He sort of ended up fitting the classic 'Mike Mamula' or 'Vernon Gholston' model of workout warrior. That's not the case with Hayden.

I, personally, wouldn't rate him #1, but I'm an amateur. From what I can see, I would definitely rate him in the top-5, and I personally like him more than Xavier rhodes, who, to me, doesn't look to have the best instincts. I would rate Millner #1, Trufant #2, Taylor #3, Hayden #4, and Rhodes #5 (perhaps tied with Jonathan Banks), and I really think Trufant, Taylor and Hayden are not separated by much. I rate Hayden lower primarily because I do think the injury is a concern at least in terms of immediate productivity.

Now, in our system, maybe Banks or Rhodes would get more of a look, since the 49ers do like press-corners on the outside, but the 49ers do also need guys who can cover the slot and be versatile.

Bottom line, if you're opinion is different than Mayock and Cosell, that's fine. But I think it's a little presumptuous to say "there's no way this guy is the #1." They have probably forgotten a lot more football than we'll ever know. I absolutely can see why they may make those evaluations. Hayden's good. If he hadn't suffered that injury, I absolutely could see him having been a lock for the 1st round.

Note, too..  he had 4 INT in 9 games this year. That would have put him on pace for 6 INT if he played the full season. He did dominate WR, too, in his conference (see his game vs. Quinton Patton).

Everything on this board is opinion, and in my opinion, there's no way this guy is the #1 CB in this draft.  I'm not sure how it can be presumptuous to express an opinion.  I'm not saying they're crazy for thinking that, or their opinions are not valid.  It is their job & have been doing it longer, however, they can be wrong as well.
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Posted: 04/19/2013 10:41 AM

RE: Wow. DJ Hayden....top CB 


I think what he's saying is that your opinion is based on a fact that doesn't equate to ability.  Interceptions aren't a factor of how good or how bad a CB is, for example Dee Milliner only had two interceptions as well including games against Florida Atlantic and Western Carolina.  Interceptions are not a measuring stick solely when it comes to evaluating a defensive back.
NashvilleNiner wrote: Everything on this board is opinion, and in my opinion, there's no way this guy is the #1 CB in this draft.  I'm not sure how it can be presumptuous to express an opinion.  I'm not saying they're crazy for thinking that, or their opinions are not valid.  It is their job & have been doing it longer, however, they can be wrong as well.
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Posted: 04/19/2013 11:01 AM

RE: Wow. DJ Hayden....top CB 


I'm not saying you can't have that opinion, nor have I ever said that. I'm saying the way you've characterized the opinion, imo, is presumptuous. It would be one thing to say "I don't really see how Hayden rates over Millner, etc." but it's wholly another to say "there's no way he's the #1." You really didn't present it as an opinion, as much as you emphasized it as if it were a statement of fact disputing the 'experts.'

So, yes.. I think anytime anyone says "there's no way" or uses any other statement of absolutism, it's a bit presumptuous.

But, really, that's hardly the basis of my counter, anyway. You defended your opinion by citing 'INT' as the metric by which CB are measured, and I don't think you've really done a good job of explaining why that metric is important without the context of the other data and information available. If you look at the RPI of the teams Revis faced his Junior year at Pitt and compare it to Houston's RPI this past year, the gap is pretty miniscule. Why was Revis such a highly considered CB prospect? Was it his level of competition? Was it his INTs?

No. It was the combination of his game tape, his coverage versatility, his confirmed athleticism, and his overall reputation. He was taken ahead of guys like Aaron Ross (who played at Texas in the Big 12) and Leon Hall (who played at Michigan in the Big 10), both conferences that rated higher than the Big East at that time and both who had more INT than Revis in the 2006 season.

Again, I agree with you that, if I were to grade the CB, I wouldn't put Hayden at #1, but I don't agree that there's "no way" he should be #1. If not for his injury, I think he could be right there in the mix. There will always be a general bias against smaller conference players when compared to producers at bigger conference schools (and Millner played at the elite of the elite schools in Alabama), but I don't think Hayden's resume smacks of Dontari Poe at all, and I think you undersell his accomplishments by focusing on his INT total.
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Posted: 04/19/2013 11:07 AM

RE: Wow. DJ Hayden....top CB 



pudding wrote: I'm not saying you can't have that opinion, nor have I ever said that. I'm saying the way you've characterized the opinion, imo, is presumptuous. It would be one thing to say "I don't really see how Hayden rates over Millner, etc." but it's wholly another to say "there's no way he's the #1." You really didn't present it as an opinion, as much as you emphasized it as if it were a statement of fact disputing the 'experts.'

So, yes.. I think anytime anyone says "there's no way" or uses any other statement of absolutism, it's a bit presumptuous.

But, really, that's hardly the basis of my counter, anyway. You defended your opinion by citing 'INT' as the metric by which CB are measured, and I don't think you've really done a good job of explaining why that metric is important without the context of the other data and information available. If you look at the RPI of the teams Revis faced his Junior year at Pitt and compare it to Houston's RPI this past year, the gap is pretty miniscule. Why was Revis such a highly considered CB prospect? Was it his level of competition? Was it his INTs?

No. It was the combination of his game tape, his coverage versatility, his confirmed athleticism, and his overall reputation. He was taken ahead of guys like Aaron Ross (who played at Texas in the Big 12) and Leon Hall (who played at Michigan in the Big 10), both conferences that rated higher than the Big East at that time and both who had more INT than Revis in the 2006 season.

Again, I agree with you that, if I were to grade the CB, I wouldn't put Hayden at #1, but I don't agree that there's "no way" he should be #1. If not for his injury, I think he could be right there in the mix. There will always be a general bias against smaller conference players when compared to producers at bigger conference schools (and Millner played at the elite of the elite schools in Alabama), but I don't think Hayden's resume smacks of Dontari Poe at all, and I think you undersell his accomplishments by focusing on his INT total.

Right. And i'm not arguing that second point at all.  I believe you're being presumptuous to assume i meant that I think my opinion is more valid than Mayock & Cosell.
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Posted: 04/19/2013 11:58 AM

RE: Wow. DJ Hayden....top CB 


Seriously, Nashville. You always seem to reduce arguments to semantics and fail to really address the points that you, yourself, brought up. My response has little to do with Mayock and Cosell's opinions. It has mostly to do with your focus on INT and conference strength to determine the quality of a player. I only touched on Mayock and Cosell because, ultimately, your original statement was rather strongly implying that they were wrong.

You can't put out a statement like "there's no way" that a player is not worthy of their evaluation and then back off it by saying "but it's only my opinion" as the sole support for that statement. I'm not disagreeing with your thinking that, in your opinion, that Hayden is not #1. I, in fact, share that opinion. But that's not how you presented your stance. You did, in fact, challenge Mayock and Cosell, and then provided a rationale that, imo, is wanting.

If you disagree, then explain how you draw your conclusion. Address the points.. not the strawmen that you've decided are easier targets.
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Posted: 04/19/2013 12:22 PM

RE: Wow. DJ Hayden....top CB 



pudding wrote: Seriously, Nashville. You always seem to reduce arguments to semantics and fail to really address the points that you, yourself, brought up. My response has little to do with Mayock and Cosell's opinions. It has mostly to do with your focus on INT and conference strength to determine the quality of a player. I only touched on Mayock and Cosell because, ultimately, your original statement was rather strongly implying that they were wrong.

You can't put out a statement like "there's no way" that a player is not worthy of their evaluation and then back off it by saying "but it's only my opinion" as the sole support for that statement. I'm not disagreeing with your thinking that, in your opinion, that Hayden is not #1. I, in fact, share that opinion. But that's not how you presented your stance. You did, in fact, challenge Mayock and Cosell, and then provided a rationale that, imo, is wanting.

If you disagree, then explain how you draw your conclusion. Address the points.. not the strawmen that you've decided are easier targets.

blah2  If you take a simple statement of my opinion, and twist it into something else entirely, I am going to try to edify you.

Last edited 04/19/2013 12:22 PM by NashvilleNiner

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Posted: 04/19/2013 12:25 PM

Re: Wow. DJ Hayden....top CB 


This is the point of contention.
NashvilleNiner wrote: Hayden's a nice story, but I don't see how he is the #1 Corner....no way.
2011, he had 2 INT's  playing in Conference USA, and those came against North Texas & UAB.
2012, he had 4 INT's, with 3 of those coming against the likes of UTEP(2) & Southern Methodist(1).

He's got some talent and its a great story of perseverance...but he is not the #1 CB in this draft class.
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Posted: 04/19/2013 12:28 PM

RE: Wow. DJ Hayden....top CB 


Nnamdi Asomugha had 3 interceptions in 4 years between 2007 and 2010.  He was widely regarded as the best cover corner in football during that 4-year stretch (arguably equaled or surpassed by Revis starting around 2009).

There's not really much of a correlation between number of interceptions and quality of cornerback play.  High interception numbers are definitely a plus, but one guy having more interceptions than another often just means teams would not throw in the other guy's direction as much.  And while the interception can be a huge play that significantly impacts games, a lockdown corner who teams won't throw toward is just as impactful over the course of a game.
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