Lions Sign Former First Round Pick CB DJ Hayden

Hazel Gray
March 12, 2017

The Oakland Raiders want to retain him, while the Washington Redskins, San Francisco 49ers, Detroit Lions, Chicago Bears and New York Jets are all looking into the option of signing him.

Hayden, who did not have an interception in 11 games previous year, can play either slot or outside cornerback and said he's willing to play "wherever I'm needed" with the Lions. "That's something I'm definitely interested in, so we can get our chemistry down".

Hayden, 26, has spent the first four seasons of his NFL career with the Raiders since being drafted 13th overall by Oakland in the 2013 NFL Draft (he was the first cornerback selected). But last season, a move inside to cover the slot seemed to get the best out of the fourth-year pro. A year ago in 11 games, he totaled 32 tackles, six passes broken up and one forced fumble. He'll probably see a raise and maybe even a non-guaranteed two-year deal (Holmes is 28), but he's not going to be too much of an expenditure for anyone that signs him.

"When you're inside, you're basically nearly like another linebacker", Hayden said of the difference between playing outside and in the slot in the NFL. "You got more action on the inside".

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But there's little question he has the confidence of a defensive back - something his workout partners-turned-teammates have shown over and over again in Detroit.

"I'm a fast-twitch guy", Hayden said.

It's expected that Hayden will compete with both Nevin Lawson and Quandre Diggs for a starting job. "I'm not the tallest corner in the league, but I feel like I can match up with any receiver or, really, anybody". "I'm just ready to work".

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