Biography: Three-year starter awarded all-conference honors since his junior season and named to several All-American teams last year. Senior totals included 62 tackles/7 interceptions/10 pass breakups after he had 70/6/11 as a junior.
Positives: Talented cornerback with top ball skills. Instinctive, effectively diagnoses plays and consistently positions himself to be productive. Reads the quarterback's eyes and has a nice move to the throw as well as a solid closing burst. Picks up assignments and displays good route recognition in zone coverage and a nice feel for pass defense. Does not back down to a challenge and works hard to defend the run.
Negatives: Lacks a quick and fluid backpedal. Not smooth in his hips transitioning to run with opponents. Lacks deep speed.
Analysis: Hayward is a skilled cornerback who is effective defending the run or pass. He needs to fine-tune his game, but will be very effective as a zone player at the next level and has starting potential.
NFL Truth & Rumors