Prospects

Prospects
Photo of Darrius Heyward-Bey
Darrius Heyward-Bey (WR)
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 210
College: Maryland
Conference: ACC
Hometown: Silver Spring, MD
High School: McDonogh School
Featured Prospects
Selected by: Oakland Raiders
Round: 1
Pick (Overall): 7 (7)
Discuss
Pick Analysis: In a bit of a head-scratcher, the Raiders bypass Michael Crabtree and Jeremy Maclin to select Heyward-Bey. Although the former Maryland speedster recorded the best 40 time (4.30) at the combine, he is raw and unrefined as a receiver. He may eventually develop into a big-time weapon in the Raiders' offense, but he is a bit of a reach as a potential No. 1 receiver.
  1. Overview
  2. Analysis
Overview

By far the fastest player in school history, Heyward-Bey set the Terps record with a 4.23 clocking in the 40-yard dash during 2006 preseason drills. Always known for his blazing speed, he added a new wrinkle to his game the last two seasons, proving to be a dangerous threat on the reverse or when operating out of the backfield as a slot back.


Even though Maryland struggled at the quarterback position and failed to find another big-play receiver to prevent Heyward-Bey from receiving the constant double coverage he experienced throughout his career, he left his mark in the school record books in only three seasons. Even though he never returned a kick or punt, his 2,403 all-purpose yards rank 17th in school annals.


Heyward-Bey's 138 receptions rank third on Maryland's career record chart. His 2,089 yards receiving placed him second in school annals. He also tied for third on the all-time list with 13 touchdown grabs and is tied for sixth with four 100-yard receiving games. The team's third-leading rusher as a junior, he would amass 314 yards with a pair of scores on 25 carries, averaging 12.56 yards per rushing attempt and 14.74 yards on the 163 times he touched the ball. Proving to be the team's money receiver, he generated 228 receiving yards in three bowl appearances.


At McDonogh High School, Heyward-Bey was a standout in football and track. On the gridiron, he earned three letters, starting in each of his final two seasons at receiver and outside linebacker. The consensus All-State selection added Prep Star and Super Prep All-American honors, as Super Prep rated him the 17th-best receiver in the nation. Tom Lemming of ESPN rated him the prep ranks' 23rd-best receiver.


Heyward-Bey received a four-star rating from Rivals.com, as that recruiting service picked him as the fourth-best prospect in the state of Maryland. He added All-Conference and All-Area accolades as a junior and senior. In his final campaign, he had 47 receptions for 821 yards and 10 touchdowns. The previous season, he made 40 catches for 802 yards and 12 scores.


In track, Heyward-Bey received first-team All-American accolades in the indoor 60 meters. He finished fifth at the nationals as a junior as well winning the MIAA championship in the 100 and 200 meters. He was timed at 4.38 in the 40-yard dash at the Nike combine at the University of Virginia and ran a 6.35 in the 55-meter dash in January 2005. He also posted a 40-inch vertical jump at McDonogh High.


Heyward-Bey bypassed scholarship offers from Boston College, Alabama, Pittsburgh, Virginia and Michigan State to enroll at Maryland in 2005. After red-shirting that year, he made a huge impact in 2006, starting 10 of 13 games on the way to earning Freshman All-American honors. He led the team with 45 receptions and set the school freshman single-season record with 694 yards receiving (15.4 avg), scoring five times.


Despite constant double coverage, Heyward-Bey again led the team with 51 receptions for 786 yards (15.4 avg) and three touchdowns as a sophomore. He was an All-Atlantic Coast Conference honorable mention, as he ranked ninth in the league with an average of 60.5 yards per game receiving. He also tallied 107 yards with a score on just five carries (21.4 avg). His 51 catches placed 10th on the school's single-season record list.


Heyward-Bey was again named All-ACC honorable mention in 2008. The team's continued struggles at quarterback saw the junior receiver be used more often out of the backfield as a runner. For the third consecutive season, he led the Terps with 41 catches for 609 yards (14.5 avg) that included five touchdowns. He carried 13 times, totaling 202 yards with a score, averaging 13.5 yards per rushing attempt and 14.23 yards each time he touched the ball.


After his junior campaign, Heyward-Bey decided it was time to join the NFL ranks, forgoing his senior season to enter the 2009 draft. "After the bowl game I sat down with my mom, my aunt and coach (Ralph) Friedgen to explore my options and felt like the time is right to take my game to the next level," Heyward-Bey said.


"It was a very difficult decision. I love the University of Maryland and everything people have done for me the last four years. Not only the coaches, but also the players and support staff. It was a great experience. I want to thank the student body, the fans and Coach Friedgen for their support and allowing me this opportunity. I look forward to always being a Terp."


High School

Attended McDonogh (Silver Spring, Md.) High School, playing football for head coach Dominic Damico, earning three letters as he started in each of his final two seasons at both receiver and outside linebacker...Consensus All-State selection...Added Prep Star and Super Prep All-American honors, as Super Prep rated him the 17th-best receiver in the nation. Tom Lemming of ESPN rated him the prep ranks' 23rd-best receiver...Received a four-star rating from Rivals.com, as that recruiting service picked him as the fourth-best prospect in the state of Maryland...Added All-Conference and All-Area accolades as a junior and senior...In his final campaign, he had 47 receptions for 821 yards and 10 touchdowns...The previous season, he made 40 catches for 802 yards and 12 scores...In track, Heyward-Bey received first-team All-American accolades in the indoor 60 meters...Finished fifth at the nationals as a junior as well winning the MIAA championship in the 100 and 200 meters...Timed at 4.38 in the 40-yard dash at the Nike combine at the University of Virginia and ran a 6.35 in the 55-meter dash in January, 2005...Also posted a 40-inch vertical jump at McDonogh High.


Copyright NFLDraftScout.com, distributed by The Sports Xchange.

Analysis

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.


Injury Report

2006: Sat out the fourth quarter of the Boston College game (11/18) due to a concussion.


2007: Limited in fall camp by an ankle sprain.


2008: Did not play vs. Boston College (11/29) due to a leg contusion.


Copyright NFLDraftScout.com, distributed by The Sports Xchange.

NFL News
CONTENT
15