Casey Hayward Says He Should Be a Second Round Pick

Audio/Story posted April 10, 2012 in NFL Draft by Patrick Woo.


Vanderbilt cornerback Casey Hayward had a stellar junior season in 2010. The All-SEC selection set his school's single season record with six interceptions and led the SEC with 17 passes defended. At one point, he had interceptions in four consecutive games. Hayward was regarded as one of the best cornerbacks in the nation.

But instead of entering the NFL Draft, Hayward decided to return to Vanderbilt for his senior season.

"A lot of people had me ranked high," he said of his draft stock in 2011. "But a lot of people didn't."

Hayward returned to Vanderbilt in 2011 and became the first Vanderbilt All-American in four years. He also broke his own school record by recording seven interceptions, including a pick-six in a comeback win against Connecticut. He finished his collegiate career with 15 interceptions, which is tied for the most in Vanderbilt history.

Hayward thinks he has proven himself worthy of a high draft pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.

“I think my ball skills are in the top five in this class,” he said.

Despite putting together one of the best seasons ever by a Commodore defensive back, it seems as if Hayward’s stock has dropped in the eyes of NFL teams. Hayward, however, remains confident in his ability.

“I definitely don’t see myself as a fourth rounder,” he said. “I definitely see myself in the second round. I could see myself going in the first round but other guys get a lot of hype.”

Hayward currently projects as a day two pick behind players at his position like Morris Claiborne (LSU), Stephon Gilmore (South Carolina), Dre Kirkpatrick (Alabama) and Janoris Jenkins (North Alabama).

Hayward ran a respectable 4.53-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine and, like most prospects, is just trying to improve every day so he can hear his name called at the end of April.

"I can work on my fundamentals," Hayward said. "Just stay after practice and work on little things. A lot of people wish they could go through this. There's a lot of college football players out there that aren't going to get a chance to do this. I just try to embrace the moment."


Patrick Woo is a sophomore majoring in Journalism and is a ComRadio Sports Director. To contact him, email