Former NFL Player D.J. Hayden Dead At 33 After Car Crash

Former NFL 1st round pick D.J. Hayden has died at the age of 33 after being involved in a car crash in Houston, early Saturday morning, according to the Houston Chronicle. He was among six people to die in the incident, which occurred when a driver ran a red light at the cross-section of Fannin Street and Pierce Street around 2:00 AM.

The Oakland Raiders drafted D.J. Hayden with the 12th overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. After spending four seasons with the team, he played for the Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Washington Football Team. “The Raiders Family is mourning the tragic loss of former cornerback D.J. Hayden,” the team said in a statement. “The Raiders’ first-round draft pick out of the University of Houston in 2013, D.J. overcame a heart injury sustained in a college practice to play nine years in the NFL, including his first four with the Silver and Black. D.J.’s courage, perseverance, and dedication to his teammates will be fondly remembered by everyone who knew him. The prayers of the entire Raider Nation are with D.J.’s loved ones at this time.”

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D.J. Hayden With The Raiders

PITTSBURGH, PA – NOVEMBER 8: Cornerback D.J. Hayden #25 of the Oakland Raiders looks on from the field during a game against the Pittsburgh. Steelers at Heinz Field on November 8, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Steelers defeated the Raiders 38-35. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)

During his nine-year career, Hayden recorded four interceptions, 46 passes defensed, 4.5 sacks and 328 total tackles. Prior to his NFL career, Hayden played his college ball for the University of Houston. While there, he made headlines in 2012 after surviving a near-fatal injury to his heart during practice.

“The entire University of Houston community is heartbroken over the tragic passing of former Football student-athletes D.J. Hayden, Zachary McMillian and Ralph Oragwu earlier today, and our thoughts and prayers remain with Jeffery Lewis in his recovery ahead,” the University of Houston said in a statement. “We extend our deepest condolences to their families, friends, and loved ones, as we collectively mourn the loss of three individuals who made an indelible impact on each life they touched. While their combined talents provided Houston Football some of its most unforgettable moments, their unique legacies will best be remembered for the way they loved their teammates, supported their communities and defied the odds.”

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Updated: November 13, 2023 — 3:02 am