University of Houston cornerback D.J. Hayden has parlayed a blazing 40-yard dash time at his pro day into a little love from NFL Network's Mike Mayock.
The third edition of Mayock's position-by-position prospect rankings dropped Friday, highlighted by Hayden vaulting to the No. 3 cornerback spot. He wasn't even top-five material in Mayock's last wave of rankings, but the draft analyst on Friday labeled Hayden a potential first-round pick.
Alabama's Dee Milliner still sits at No. 1 on Mayock's list, with Florida's Xavier Rhodes at No. 2 and Desmond Trufant from Washington falling to No. 4. UConn's Blidi Wreh-Wilson rounds out the group.
It's been a remarkable week for Hayden. The Houston Chronicle reported his 40 time on Monday at 4.33 seconds while NFL.com's Gil Brandt reported Hayden at 4.42. Those results come just months after Hayden nearly died from tearing a major vein in his heart during a November practice. One team doctor described the player's injury as typically 95 percent fatal.
Now Hayden's racing up the boards and his speed -- and backstory -- make this young corner one of the more intriguing prospects around.
Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.