Why D.J. Hayden Is the Next Darrelle Revis

Make no mistake; every NFL team would love to have a Darrelle Revis. Not every team would be willing to take a risk on his knee and pay him what he demands, but every team would love to have his consistent production. Revis is still the prototypical cornerback that everyone wants because he does everything well and can shadow and shut down No. 1 receivers.

When looking at the 2013 rookie class, only one has the chance to be the next Revis, and it isn’t the player that replaced him in New York. The next Revis is actually University of Houston cornerback D.J. Hayden.

In what was a one of the biggest surprises of the draft, the Oakland Raiders traded down from No. 3 to No. 12, didn’t draft University of Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd and selected Hayden. The Raiders were even willing to take Hayden at No. 3 if no trade had materialized.

Drafting Hayden that early only makes sense if he can be the next Revis.

When a team drafts a cornerback that is—at worst—the third overall player on its board, he is expected to become one of the best in the league. The expectations should be high, and comparing Hayden to one of the best cornerbacks in the league shouldn’t be that much of a stretch.


The Athletic Comparison

Revis is 5’11” and 198 pounds and ran a 4.4-second 40-yard dash at his pro day prior to the 2006 NFL draft. Up until that point, Revis was considered a cornerback that should go at the end of the first round and he ended up going 14th overall to the Jets.

Hayden is 5’11” and 191 pounds and ran between a 4.33-second or 4.42-second 40-yard dash at his pro day, depending on the source. Up until that point, Hayden was considered a cornerback who should go in the second or third round, but he ended up going 12th overall to the Raiders.

In Hayden’s case, he was also coming off one of...

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