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2021 NFL Draft Prospect Summary: Josh Hayes, DB, North Dakota State

Josh Hayes
North Dakota State defensive back Josh Hayes is one of the best all around defensive backs at the FCS level.

By Craig Forrestal

Josh Hayes

  • School: North Dakota State
  • Position: CB
  • HT: 5ft11
  • WT: 185
  • Hometown: Lakeland, FL
  • High School: Lake Gibson HS
  • Recruit Ranking
    • Rivals: Not Ranked
    • 247: Not Ranked
    • ESPN: Not Ranked

2017 Season

  • Competed in all 15 games as a true freshman
  • First career start came in the national championship game
  • Tied a season-high with 3 tackles and 1 forced fumble in the FCS title win over James Madison
  • Recorded 15 tackles and three pass breakups on the season

2018 Season

  • Competed in all 15 games including 2 starts
  • Totaled 28 tackles and had 3 pass breakups
  • Tied for second on the team with 9 special teams tackles, all on kickoff coverage.

2019 Season

  • Second-Team All-Missouri Valley Football Conference
  • Started all 16 games at cornerback
  • 59 total tackles including 39 solo stops
  • 7 special teams tackles (4 kickoff, 3 punt)
  • MVFC Defensive Player of the Week following six solo tackles and his first career interception late in the 23-16 win at South Dakota State
  • Recorded 7 tackles with 1.5 tackles for loss and 1 pass breakup in the NCAA championship win over James Madison


Josh Hayes is a phenomenal special teams player and that will help him at the next level. You can see why he is a great special teams player when watching him as he is aggressive and physical. We also see Hayes is a good tackler and is not afraid to play his part in the run game. There is a chance that Hayes is asked to kick in to the Nickel position in the NFL but his combination of effort, competitive spirit and grit he should find a role as an immediate special teams contributor.

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