Darrius Heyward-Bey and Mike Mitchell: Best Friends Forever

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Darrius Heyward-Bey and Mike Mitchell: Best Friends Forever
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

When the Oakland Raiders made their first two selections of the 2009 NFL draft, the collective jaw of the NFL world dropped. 

Darrius Heyward-Bey was considered a major stretch at No. 7 overall, but considering his speed, the selection shouldn't have come as too much of a shock.

Mike Mitchell, on the other hand, was a name the vast majority of people had never heard before he was selected in the second round. 

Despite Heyward-Bey's claim that he isn't worried about what the critics say, the Raider Nation is eager for him to prove them wrong.  

Mitchell has already said he can't wait to show his detractors that he was worthy of the 47th overall pick. He was a big hitter in college, and it is safe to assume he will do a large part of his arguing by throwing his body at opposing players.  

Heyward-Bey needs only to spread opposing defenses to prove his worth, creating opportunities for his teammates. Well, that and maybe catch a few balls here and there. 

Mitchell needs to be a presence in the secondary, striking fear in opposing receivers.

So what's the connection?

Going over the Raiders schedule this season, Mitchell will have a chance to go against eight of the top 13 wide receivers drafted in 2009. He will face the consensus No. 1 and No. 2 receivers: Michael Crabtree in week two of the preseason and Jeremy Maclin in week six of the regular season.

If he were to, say, take off both their heads with crushing hits, the Heyward-Bey pick would look like a no-brainer.

Not that I would wish harm to any person, but what if Mitchell sends all eight of those rookie wideouts into the obscurity of once-promising players constantly plagued by the one injury that derailed their careers? Wouldn't that be great!?!? I mean, a shame?!?!

Who am I kidding? I hope Mitchell lays every one of them out. I can't wait to see them timidly crossing the middle, the number 34 burned in the back of their brains.  

And at the end of the season, when the bodies are piled up in the secondary, Darrius Heyward-Bey can shake the hand of the man who made him one of the only rookie receivers left standing, and he and Mike Mitchell will be best friends forever.

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