With the No. 12 pick in the first round, the Oakland Raiders selected cornerback D.J. Hayden out of Houston.

The selection completes Hayden's remarkable recovery from a near-death experience in early-November when the former Cougars' cornerback underwent emergency heart surgery following a freak accident in practice. Hayden, who reportedly ran the 40-yard dash in 4.33 seconds at the Cougars' Pro Day, has rapidly ascended up draft boards in recent weeks, after he was cleared to return to football.

While defending an underthrown post, Houston defensive back Trevon Stewart collided with Hayden, inadvertently kneeing him in the chest. The hit left Hayden gasping for air, as teammates prodded him to jump to his feet. Hayden was quickly carted into the locker room, where he underwent a battery of tests. Roughly two minutes later, the local product from Fort Bend Elkins High School began shivering uncontrollably. Instantly, Hayden's left eye went pitch black. It was then he told longtime Houston trainer Mike “Doc” O'Shea that something was wrong.

“I'm like Doc, I cannot see,” Hayden said in an interview with the University of Houston. “He said alright, alright we'll call the ambulance. I said ‘Lord, please just stay with me through all this. I hope everything goes smoothly.'”