Oakland Raiders' First Pick, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Could Work Out

Angelo CerilliCorrespondent IApril 30, 2009

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 22:  Wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey of Maryland runs with the football during the NFL Scouting Combine presented by Under Armour at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 22, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)

With the seventh pick behind the Cincinnati Bengals, everyone was expecting the Oakland Raiders to select the wide receiver out of Texas Tech, Michael Crabtree.

However, to everyone's surprise Crabtree didn't get called. It was another wide receiver by the name of Darrius Heyward-Bey.

By everyone's standards this was a bad draft pick, but was it really? There are plenty of physical strengths that make Heyward-Bey the better pick.

According to NFL.com Crabtree is listed at 6'1" and 215 pounds, which is not bad for a wide receiver. He more than proved that he can break through tackles at that size—just look at the game he had against Texas.

Darrius Heyward-Bey is listed at 6'2" and 210 pounds by NFL.com. That one inch in height and five pounds makes a big difference—Heyward-Bey can run faster and leap higher than Crabtree.

Look at the teams both players played on during their senior years. Michael Crabtree had that great Texas Tech offense, while Darrius Heyward-Bey played with Maryland.

If you're a wide receiver, who would you rather play for: Chris Turner or Graham Harrell? Most of you should have picked Graham Harrell behind an offensive line that could give him a good amount of time over Chris Turner who, although good, was not behind an offensive line as good as Texas Tech's.

Look at the conference Heyward-Bey came out of: the ACC. How many ACC wide receivers go top 10 in the draft?

Well, look at this draft for example. The only other ACC player that got drafted in the first round was the wide receiver out of North Carolina, Hakeem Nicks, and he was selected down at 29th to the Giants.

Last year there were no receivers from the ACC taken in the first round. The last ACC receiver taken in the top 10 was Calvin Johnson of Georgia Tech. How did work out for the Lions?

The ACC definitely has some talent, plus Crabtree was injured during the combine which was a detriment to his draft status because people could not scout him properly. So all this led to Oakland picking up what they felt was the safe pick, and for that I cannot fault them.

If you want to give Oakland a bad grade for their other picks then by all means do. But Oakland was not horrible in picking Heyward-Bey. In fact, if the Raiders can find a way to get the ball to the kid he can outrun almost anyone on that field.

However, only time can tell how good it was for Oakland to pick Heyward-Bey over Crabtree. This is a topic that I will come back to in three years to see how it panned out for both teams.

Who knows, maybe in three years Heyward-Bey will be a top 15 receiver in the NFL?

That is what is most exciting about the draft—you never know how a player is going to end up.


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