Drew Boylhart April 2008

Nick Hayden   DT / DE   Wisconsin



Nick is a powerful, quick in the box defensive lineman who never stops playing until the whistle is blown.  He is a good run stuffer and a smart player who understands his job in the team concept.  Nick is the type of player that all teams need to have a good defense.  His work ethic and hidden athletic talents are what I call sleeper material.  He is the type of player that will get better as soon as he accepts and uses some new techniques.  Right now, Nick is a mauler because he can get away with that at the college level and be successful.  At the next level he is going to have to do more than that and learn better techniques.  When he does, he will be more than a rotation D-lineman for the team that drafts him.  He will become a core player and a fan favorite.



Nick does not realize how much talent he has.  He just goes into a game and out-works everyone else, which has been okay up until now.  His in the box quickness and explosion is excellent and if he gets with a good D-line coach, he could become a hell of a player.  Nick has to match his football work ethic off the field with his football work ethic on the field.  Right now, his lack of technique is his biggest problem -- not his athletic talent.      



Let me show you how a workout can be misleading.   Nick is a big kid who can handle more weight than he carries.  At the combine, he ran a 5.20 in the forty.  Most people would say that is slow and would count him as not being much of an athlete.  Here is the catch:  his short shuttle time at the combine was a 4.50sp.  Now if you subtract 5.20 from 4.50 you get a difference of .70 for his Speed/Quickness .50 and up is what it takes to play football fast.  Now, let's go to his Power and Explosion numbers and see if they are above what is considered excellent.  His pro day workout numbers show the following:  Vertical Jump 32, Broad Jump 9'3",  Bench press from combine 34.  Add those numbers up and you get a Power/Explosion (P/E) of 75.3.  It is consider that anything over 70 is excellent power/explosion.  So now I go to the film I have of this kid and I see that his effort on every play is outstanding, but he is not getting into the backfield enough and is not shedding his blocks.  However, he is stoning everyone he goes up against right at the line of scrimmage and his lateral agility looks good.  His foot speed sucks!  So I know that with these types of workout numbers and effort, there is a sleeping giant of a football player that just has to learn the techniques of his position and when he does, he should improve dramatically.  Add to this a year or two of getting bigger and stronger and this kid is a sleeper pick.  Now remember my definition of a sleeper draft pick is not a player who comes from a small program and everybody in the world can see his potential.  It is a player in a big program sitting right in front of your eyes and nobody sees the potential because they are looking at other players who are flashier.   I'm not going to tell you that Nick is going to be the next great D-lineman to ever play the game, but I am going to suggest to you that there is more than meets the eye with this kid and he is a good developmental D-lineman that could play as a DE in a 3-4.  Or, if he bulks up and does not lose his quickness, could be a hell of a DT in a 4-3 and just might turn into a nose tackle in a 3-4.  The potential to develop this kid is there.  Nick just has to start learning and trusting techniques over brute force and effort.

X = Would Not Draft       C = Character      L = Legal