Darrius Heyward-Bey. Just saying that name makes some people nauseous and some violently ill. GHB was likely involved in making Heyward-Bey the 7th choice in the 2009 NFL draft. The intoxicating effects of DHB had Al Davis raving one minute and sleeping the next. Al woke up to find a salty taste in his mouth, an empty feeling inside and a 9-124-1 line from his prized wide receiver. Even with the embarrassment that comes from waking up with your pants around your ankles, Al is still drinking the Kool-Aid. I’m not sure what it is, maybe someone slipped me a mickey, but ole MDS is starting to warm up and feel the same fuzzy feelings for Darrius.
Warning: I’m about to tell you to draft a Raider
I know Chaz Schilens is the safer choice, and a good sleeper in his own right, but I can’t help myself from being suckered in by DHB’s size (6’2 210 lbs) and speed (4.30 40 yard dash). That is track star speed, I would know, I ran the 110 meter hurdles in 7th grade. OK, all joking aside, that is fast. His NFL Combine profile says he was a track star who joined the high school football team to make friends. I don’t think he made too many friends in Oakland last year, but he seems to have a new buddy now. His name, Jason Campbell.
Possibly the worst QB in the history of the NFL, Jamarcus Russell, is gone. In comes Jason Campbell. The word “upgrade” and thoughts of Beyonce immediately come to mind. Campbell isn’t a phenomenal QB, but he has increased his attempts, completions, completion percentage, yards, TDs and QB Rating with each passing season. A report from Tim Kawakami says that Campbell is looking for and connecting with DHB early and often:
…at Wednesday’s team workout, Heyward-Bey continued his emergence as a stunningly central figure in the Raiders’ passing attack, and for only positive reasons. At one point, Jason Campbell dropped back and threw in perfect rhythm to Heyward-Bey, who raced past two defenders on a post route, leapt and hauled in a 30-yard touchdown. Later, Heyward-Bey shook off tight outside coverage by Walter McFadden, then made a quick move inside as Campbell heaved a prayer after avoiding a heavy rush. Result: Another TD, DHB.
In these OTAs, Campbell clearly is looking to DHB with a purpose — reflexively zeroing in on him even when he isn’t the first option. “He’s looking for me,” Heyward-Bey said brightly of Campbell. “When I’m out there, I’m just thinking the ball’s coming to me every down, no matter who the quarterback is.” Wait. Let’s repeat that: The QBs are looking for Heyward-Bey.”Yeah, they are,” said coach Tom Cable, smiling. “I think when you haven’t had many big plays and you’re having that kind of explosiveness, as a quarterback, you want to get hooked up with that.”
and then there was this, classic over-the-top Raiders propaganda:
“Raiders Owner Al Davis has always said that the Raiders have had the greatest players, greatest coaches, played in the greatest games and participated in the greatest plays in the history of professional football. The Raiders have been dominant in terms of winning. The greatest wide receivers in professional football have passed through the portals of the Oakland Raiders or have been coached by Davis.
Lance Alworth, Willie Gault, Art Powell, Andre Rison, Warren Wells, Bob Chandler, Fred Biletnikoff, Jerry Rice, Cliff Branch, Tim Brown, James Lofton, Randy Moss
Now Darrius Heyward-Bey, the Raiders’ top pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, is prepping to join that select group. The list of wide receivers should make any pundit or so-called expert think twice before putting negativity on Heyward-Bey. No one has come close to the excellence at wide receivers that have worn the Silver and Black. These performers have been the greatest players who have ever played the game.”
OK, we all know the game. OTA and Training camp reports are going to be glowing, rose scented fluff. If you ask any player or coach, they’re all going to the Pro Bowl and Super Bowl. Hell, even Louis Delmas predicted the Lions will win eight games this year. This is all I am saying, Darrius Heyward-Bey was the 7th pick in the 2009 draft, he has great size and speed, is becoming a better wide receiver, is in a much improved situation this year and he is a cheap grab in drafts (69th WR, 205 ADP at MDC). You can do a lot worse than DHB with your 14th-20th round pick.