It appears that most see the Panthers taking a defensive tackle, wide receiver, offensive lineman, and safety in the first 2 rounds of the 2013 draft. Although we have resigned Captain and added Brown, both are 1 year contracts. Given this reality, and with the release of Chris Gamble, the future of CB1 is still up in the air.
Enter chizeled Houston CB DJ Hayden, a 5'11" 190 pound Conference USA standout. Although he did not participate at the NFL combine due to a serious injury, he was invited and did interview. Sounds like he is a well-liked and grounded talent. Before tweaking his hamstring at the Houston pro day, he turned in one 4.40 40 yard dash, a 33.5 vertical, and a 10' broad jump.
The jury of analysts is undecided on where he fits given the medical issue. Quoting ESPN insider, DJ "Suffered a devastating injury during the East Carolina game this past fall where he tore his inferior vena cava. This is the major vein that carries the blood from the heart to the lower half of the body." It sounds like rehabilitation is going well, and DJ is likely to be able to return to football by the start of the 2013 NFL training camps.
Where have the analysts ranked him?
ESPN Insider: Top 5 CB(S), and top 50 overall.
Walterfootball.com: Not listed
CBSSports.com: Not listed
NFLdraftscout.com: 28th overall CB, 6-7th round prediction
Mike Mayock: Top 3 CB(s) http://www.nfl.com/draft/story/0ap1000000147681/article/mike-mayock-adds-dj-hayden-in-latest-draft-prospect-rankings