D.J. Hayden, a former first-round NFL draft pick, tragically died in a car accident in Houston. This incident occurred early on a Saturday morning, as reported by NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport. Hayden was 33 years old at the time of his death.
The Houston Chronicle was the first to report this unfortunate news. The accident involved six fatalities, including Hayden, when a car ran a red light at the intersection of Fannin Street and Pierce Street in downtown Houston around 2 a.m. CST. The Houston Police Department confirmed that four individuals died at the scene, and two others, among four who were hospitalized, later succumbed to their injuries.
Hayden’s journey in football is noteworthy, especially his time at the University of Houston. He made headlines in 2012 after surviving a near-fatal heart injury during a practice session. His resilience and talent led the Oakland Raiders to select him as the No. 12 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.
During his nine-year career in the NFL, Hayden played for Oakland, Detroit, Jacksonville and Washington. His on-field achievements include four interceptions, 46 passes defended, 4.5 sacks and a total of 328 tackles. Hayden’s career, marked by determination and skill, leaves a lasting impression in the world of professional football.
Hayden’s football journey began at Elkins High School in Missouri City, Texas, where he played alongside future NFL offensive lineman Jake Matthews. He then spent two years at Navarro College before transferring to the University of Houston. At Houston, Hayden led the team in passes broken up and recorded significant tackles, interceptions and forced fumbles. His college career was marked by a severe and life-threatening injury during practice, which he miraculously survived.
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