The Cincinnati Bengals have been linked with Houston cornerback D.J. Hayden, according to Peter King of Sports Illustrated. King released his latest mock draft on Monday morning, and the inclusion of Hayden as a possibility for the Bengals with the 21st pick was by far the biggest surprise of the entire mock. Prior to this, Hayden had received virtually no buzz as a potential first-round pick.
King said that Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer has spent "loads of time" investigating Hayden, who has received a clean bill of health after a heart valve issue was discovered in 2011. This is the first time Hayden has been projected to go in the first round by anyone, so the mention raised some eyebrows. King also said that the team likes Georgia linebacker Alec Ogletree and Alabama running back Eddie Lacy.
As a senior in 2012, Hayden had 61 tackles and four interceptions for the Cougars, returning two of them for touchdowns.