Photo of Darrius Heyward-Bey
Grade
?
  • 4.30 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 16 REPS
    Top Performer
  • 38.5 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 126.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 6.80 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 4.18 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 6'2" Height
  • 210LBS. Weight

Overview

Coaches told Heyward-Bey after spring practice of his redshirt-freshman season that he might want to consider doing something else with his time at Maryland. A track star with nice size who played high school football to make friends, Heyward-Bey has certainly improved since that meeting, but is by no means a polished receiver.

He had the worst production of his career in 2008 after averaging 49 catches for 740 yards and four scores his first two seasons, but was still honorable mention All-ACC after leading the Terps in receiving (42-609-5). It was not all his doing, however, as Maryland's entire offense was very inconsistent and defenses were wise to simply double the Terps' big-play threat.

For all of the hype surrounding this year's other playmakers, no other receiver in the 2009 draft can match Heyward-Bey's combination of size and speed. Whether that combination will ever translate into his becoming Pro Bowl-caliber playmaker, however, is the significant boom or bust gamble teams will be forced to make on draft day. Had an arm span of 33 5/8 inches and a hand span of 9 inches at the combine.

Analysis

Strengths

Positives: Exceptional straight-line speed. Opponents must account for his deep speed on every play. Too fast off the snap for most defenders to challenge him in press coverage. Long, lean athlete with long arms and strong hands. Has the agility to make plays in space. Reads the field and can follow his blocks to generate yards after the catch. Can snatch the ball out of the air. Learning to better use his height as an advantage. Good leaping ability and has become more consistent in timing his leaps. Negatives: Bit of a one trick pony at this time. Might be the draft's most dangerous vertical threat, but offers little else. Long-legged and struggles to generate consistent separation out of his cuts. Not as consistently effective on jump balls as he should be, considering his natural size advantage. Too often double-clutches the ball. Questionable toughness running across the middle. Lacks strength and consistent effort as a downfield blocker.
C
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-8.99 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.50-6.99 Chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.00-6.49 Should become instant starter
5.50-5.99 Chance to become NFL starter
5.20-5.49 NFL backup or special teams potential
5.01-5.19 Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster
5.00 50-50 Chance to make NFL roster
4.75-4.99 Should be in an NFL training camp
4.50-4.74 Chance to be in an NFL training camp
No Grade Likely needs time in developmental league.
NFL News
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