The San Francisco 49ers have scheduled a pre-draft visit with CB D.J. Hayden (Houston). Hayden, has been sky-rocketing up draft boards since his exceptional pro day in March. The NFL coveting speed played in Hayden’s favor, as he ran a blazing 4.33 40-yard dash. In addition, Hayden also showed off his hops by registering a 33.5 inch vertical. Projected to be a late second to early third-round draft choice, Hayden has the ability to excel in pass coverage.
However, it is not his skill set that made him famous but rather his near death experience. As Hayden, explained:
It was a regular day at practice [November 6]. We were doing team versus scout team. They threw the ball my way. Me and the safety ran into each other. His knee hit me in my chest. I fell to the ground. It felt like I got the wind knocked out of me. When I was breathing, I just wasn’t breathing right. [The doctor] took me inside. He was asking me these questions and I was getting real cold.
“I’m looking around and I’m getting real sleepy. My left eye goes pitch black. I can’t see out of it. I can see a little bit out of my left eye. I’m praying, ‘Lord, help me get out of this one.’
“They rushed me to the hospital and did a scan on my stomach and my chest. They saw a lot of blood in my abdomen. They thought it was my liver or my spleen.
“The doctor said he was going to have to cut me open. I said, ‘Okay, just don’t mess my abs up.’ So they cut through my sternum and saw the [inferior vena cava], the main vein to your heart, was torn. He put some sutures, and stitched it back together, closed me back up, and here I am today.
Whether or not the 49ers draft Hayden remains to be seen. However, you can’t help but root for the kid, as his perseverance, speaks volumes about him as a person.