Final Say (For Now) On Heyward-Bey

We were surprised by the flood of comments critical of our critical assessment of receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey’s first full-squad minicamp at the NFL level.
Where were “yous guys” when we were suggesting prior to the draft that Heyward-Bey could be the next Troy Williamson?
Regardless, we disagree with the notion that we’ve already declared that Heyward-Bey will fail.  All we’re saying is that:  (1) he will be more closely watched than every first-round pick other than Matt Stafford; and (2) if Heyward-Bey fails, plenty of people will be saying that they said so.
We’re not rooting for the kid to flop.  We hope he has a great career; we like how he carries himself a lot more than the first-round wideout on whom the Raiders passed, Michael Crabtree.
But at least we’ve been somewhat professional in expressing our views on the former Terrapin.  As several readers pointed out after the draft (and as we’ve just remembered to mention now that we’re clearing out old e-mails), Cris Carter of ESPN arguably went over the line in his assessment of Heyward-Bey.
It also was unfortunate that Carter (or someone else) was snickering in the background while Suzy Kolber fought to keep a straight face as she did an on-air interview with Heyward-Bey right after one of the biggest moments in his life.
So, yeah, we hope he proves everyone wrong — and that he’s not the next top-ten wideout who runs just fast enough to let that deep pass bounce off his helmet.


68 responses to “Final Say (For Now) On Heyward-Bey

  1. Florio: “(1) he will be more closely watched than every first-round pick other than Matt Stafford;”
    Mark Sanchez + New York media = Florio is wrong.

  2. i could care less about the Raiders, MD’s program, or even Heyward-Bey for that matter
    but I do care about the NFL, the draft and hope Bey lights people up so that we can enjoy the draft and not speculate every year on which guy is a bust and then hope he does piss poor so we can say
    told you so

  3. It’s a good thing that Florio’s career wasn’t snuffed out early based on his novel, like the media is trying to do with this poor kid.
    “This novel isn’t worthy of wiping my dirty arse with and I have only seen the cover!”
    The media loves any reason to pile on the Raiders and one day, sooner or later, they will have to eat their words. Unfortunatley, in this age of information, most “journalists” are so quick to report “rumors and nonsense” as fact, yet when they are disproven there is never a retraction.
    There is ZERO accountability in the media.

  4. I agree, weather people agree with them drafting him or not it was huge moment in his life. I personally don’t like individual player draft grades because obviously the raiders thought he was good enough to take at #7 so let the kid show what he has. He got drafted into the NFL so good luck DHB.
    I am not a raiders fan either but some people can just be ass holes. show some respect.

  5. ***So, yeah, we hope he proves everyone wrong — and that he’s not the next top-ten wideout who runs just fast enough to let that deep pass bounce off his helmet.***
    Hey, to be fair, Troy Williamson dropped plenty of 1-10 yard passes too. It just wasn’t the long ball he couldn’t catch.

  6. After this kid shows what he can do I expect a very short article from Florio that simply states “I was wrong about Haywerd-Bey”. Anything less would be complete BS!

  7. I hope the kid has a great career. Unfortunately not sure how far he can go witht he Raiders….I feel sorry for any player that has to play for them

  8. In today’s blooglesphere everyone wants to be the first to say something is dead, out of style or a bust but I didn’t think you came across as throwing dirt on his career at all, just that there are a lot of people who can’t wait to do it.
    It’s just way too early to say after one mini camp where this kid’s career will end up.

  9. How dare you criticize Darius Heyward-Bay! After all that he didn’t acheive at Maryland! Give him a chance if he’s as good and productive as he was in college he’ll be one of the most underachieving top ten WR’s in a long time. All ya gotta do is work on his hands, right? He’s just gotta catch the ball better, right? He’ll be quite the ball catcher if he ever gets good at catching.

  10. Ok true, you didn’t write his epitaph yourself, but why bring it into the story at all? There was a tone that clearly came across to me and a few others that you were somehow taking a little too much pleasure in watching this kid’s career get off to a rocky start.
    And since you stated that categorically there are people who are preparing his epitaph? Who exactly, and how do you know? I won’t argue semantics again, but it’s this simple: You have a choice about what you say, and you (in my opinion) have made the wrong one, because rather than just give us the facts, you’ve thrown a whole mass of hyperbole into the equation.
    I apologise for saying you wrote the epitaph, but you did bring it into an article regarding a player’s first day with his new team. How in any way was that merited?

  11. Wasn’t everyone shocked when they took M. Huff out of Texas so early ? Cause I had him as a late 1st , well he’s a bust . News just in Russell on his way to the bust Bus , Favian Washington a 1st round bust , Robert Gallery a bust , not to mention the javon walker project LOL (bum) , so Heyward bey just seems like good fit got the , Silver n black Big bust tour ! Not to mention mcfadden didn’t come out the gates to fast so well see bout him next year .

  12. The negativity in media today is unreal…especially when they are biased against the subject (i.e. Oakland Raiders).
    Heyward-Bey dropped 3 measly passes in the first mini-camp on MAY 9TH PEOPLE!!! Give the kid a break!

  13. Aaaaaand yeah, I think comparing him to Williamson was a bit ott, because of the inexact science nature of the whole shebang.
    You obviously have influence within certain league circles now, and my gripe is simply that the kid is young and not responsible for his draft position. There is a sense coming from a lot of places (ESPN too) that because this guy was a reach, it’s a free pass to knock the shit out of him before he’s so much as played a snap.

  14. What a great book! Florio’s creative tale is fun from start to finish. — Tim DiPiero, Co-Agent for Randy Moss, Nuff said

  15. This guy is gonna suck.
    Could someone please assasinate Al Davis already so I don’t have to suffer through any more of these losing seasons watching teams like the Chargers take the division at 8-8

  16. Remember people, DHB didn’t draft himself with that pick, Al Davis did. If this doesn’t work out, it would be more fair to blame the Raiders for putting him in the situation than the player for being thrust into that spot. All he can do is try his best, if it doesn’t work out, than Al Davis was wrong.

  17. This guy did nothing ABSOLUTLY NOTHING in college to prove he should have been in the top ten. Take off your goofy Darth Vader mask and you’ll see he didn’t belong in the top ten. In six months you’ll be saying “It because he’s a rookie.” In three years you’ll forget that you once supported him. Oh yeah, your QB is dirt as well. Very good running game, at least you got that going for ya.

  18. Who in the hell are you people to judge anybody anyway? What are your NFL scouting credentials? When Brett Favre was drafted by the Falcons he did’nt even know what a nickel deffense was. Peyton Manning came out his first camp and season and looked like total crap ! And i can’t even count the hundreds or posibbly thousands of other players who have taken 3 or 4 years to reach their potential. So just shut your mouth get off the raiders ass and DHB’s ass and go find something to do. And anyone who listens to the morons on ESPN has got serious problems especaily Chris Carter That guy knows nothing about scouting talent and developing talent.
    And im sure if we dug into all of your teams past we would find some 1st round picks and other pick ups that werent so hot either. So shut the F@ck up and and wait and see what happens. You could make millions contracting yourself out to teams if you can predict the guy is going to bust after 2 days of practice.

  19. “… we like how he carries himself a lot more than the first-round wideout on whom the Raiders passed, Michael Crabtree.”
    Exactly what is it about the way Crabtree carries himself that you do not like?
    What interview have you seen in which he carries himself poorly? Do you have a basis for your statement, or are you just assuming that the rumor out of Cleveland that Crabtree “behaved like a diva” is the gospel truth?
    Or are you just trying to piss off the SF side of the bay to balance out your angering of the Oakland side?

  20. The raiders needed a reciever, it had to be maclin or heyward-bey. Don’t see what the big deal is..
    Crabtree is a slow diva who over achieved in a spread system against inferior cbs, Harvin had durability issues and the whole drug question mark over his head.
    Raiders chose the faster of the two who’s a great character kid..

  21. Many mocks had DHB going at 17. The jump from 17 to 7 is not that much, and if a player was projected to go in the middle of the first round, one would expect that player to likely be a good player. It’s not like the Raiders took someone nobody expected to go in the first round. The pick itself wasn’t a shock. Many mocks had DHB going to 7 and most others had Maclin instead of Crabtree.

  22. Steeler-Chad, please don’t compare DHB to Randy Moss. If Randy Moss didn’t have character concerns coming out of college, he would have been a top five pick. And Moss was a beast in college as well. If there is one thing DHB needs to improve on, I think it would be learning his QBs name; it’s JeMarcus, not LeMarcus.

  23. I actually kinda feel bad for the kid. If he’s picked anywhere other than first among the this year’s crop of wideouts, nobody even cares. But since a senile Al Davis decides to majorly reach on the guy, he’s got all this extra pressure he doesn’t need. At least he’ll get paid, I suppose…

  24. Why is Crabtree a Diva? That he turned up to meet with some teams with an ‘entourage’ was widely reported in the media but what wasn’t said is that it wasn’t a couple of bodyguards and sycophants but his family. So the media could have said he’s a family man but he’s a black wide receiver so he’s a diva. Moronic. Isn’t PFT supposed to be the site that cuts through that sort of dreck?

  25. It sounds like Tom Jackson snickering there. Classless. Carter has always been a jerk. Should we talk about the problems that led to his getting released from Philly again? We should.
    Bigchip is a jerk too. Go to anger management classes. Guys are basing their opinions on his lack of production in college and inability to catch the ball.
    The young man did handle the interview well and I hope he uses all the criticism as motivation to get better. Good luck. With dough boy behind center, you’ll need it.

  26. Philip Rivers went from a 3rd rounder to 4th overall in 3 days..nobody remembers that.
    Having watched each and every game DHB played in college, he is a good wide receiver…despite Ralph Friedgen’s coaching “genius”, there hasn’t been even a average to above average college QB at Maryland since 2002….

  27. “The jump from 17 to 7 is not that much”
    Uhh….yeah it is.
    Seriously, you can’t take a receiver at 7 who *can’t catch*.

    @Nate A
    Here’s the thing…
    No one is saying he didn’t have 1st round talent. But if he was truly the Raiders top guy, they should have done what Cleveland did and trade back. Get some late round value and save some green while your at it.

  29. I disagree.
    If Crabtree fails it would be bigger. He was supposed to be the biggest thing to come out of this draft aside from Curry.
    Stafford if he fails people would just lump him together with the other failed Lions draft picks.
    Same for Heyward-Bey. He might get a pass if Russell doesn’t develop fast enough or McFadden doesn’t help in the run game.

  30. I give the people of MD credit for consistency.
    They whine for their college and pro teams equally.
    Here’s the math:
    Ted Ginn – return skills = DHB.

  31. I can’t believe the way Chris Carter was bashing on DHB, I thought he had more class than that, and everyone else just sitting there laughing at this kid, they don’t even have a clue what this kid is going to do at the next level, his QB’s sucked at Maryland, they didn’t have much of a passing game, different QB every year, Holy Crap give the kid a chance, we will coach this kid into something good just wait and see. ESPN you should be ashamed at your help, I’m sure they were perfect the first time they stepped on the field–not. Chris Carter your a BUM!!!!

  32. The guy starts off against the BEST cover corner in the league. Not the second best, third best, etc., he starts off against the BEST. Is anyone suprised that he missed three catches? If he rises to the challenge, it will make him better.
    I would rather that the Raiders chose him at #15 or later, not #7. That being said, half the first round picks will be busts in three years. Look at Robert Gallery, a can’t miss pick, as stated by the experts. Michael Huff, touted as the one can’t miss prospect that year. Nmadi, slammed by all the experts as a bad pick the year he was drafted.
    I’m not ready to pass judgement on the pick, especially since some of the “experts” had him ranked to go mid-first round.
    I understand that the Raiders passed on a LT like Monroe due to their belief in the offensive line scheme they are implementing. I may not agree with that position, but I understand it.
    My final word, I’m glad they passed on Crabtree, if his attitude is truly that strange. Better a bust at #7 than a cancer.

  33. That’s the way to tell them Bigchip, couldn’t agree with you more, written perfectly, shut the heck up and stop the bashing, now if this kid does really good we will never hear from these a-holes again.

  34. “Uhh….yeah it is.
    Seriously, you can’t take a receiver at 7 who *can’t catch*. ”
    Uhh . . . wait.
    As a Bengal fan, you’ve forfeited all rights to analyze a draftee and spot chosen.

  35. I (as everyone else SHOULD, espn et al) will hold my judgement until the end of the ’09 season, possibly 2010. The draft and all the jackasses who ascess it are idiots. Period.

  36. It’s entertaining to hear all the haters sound off like broken records. “He can’t catch.” Sounds like you’re just repeating what you hear on TV or radio from so called experts. Did you watch every Maryland game? Show me some statistics proving that DHB dropped a greater percentage of passes than other receivers. If you can, that’s great, I’d love to see the stats. More than likely though, you can’t because you’ve never seen a Maryland game and are relying on what others say. Maybe I’m wrong though and all of you are die-hard Maryland fans and have witnessed all those dropped passes. I doubt it though.

  37. Remember when Joey Galloway went ahead of JJ Stokes in 1995 and Mel Kiper freaked out? Joey Galloway never had a 1,000 yard season in college while JJ Stokes had all the stats. JJ stokes went 10 while Kiper said the Seahawks reached for Galloway earlier than that. Sound familiar?


  39. As stated above, other teams have fell in love with players that they wanted and went against conventional wisdom at the time such as the Chargers with Rivers and the Eagles with McNabb. neither of those players were projected to even be 1st round picks before the draft but mainly shot up the board because those teams fell in love with them.
    In addition, why would the Raiders or any team take a player that they don’t want because others say it’s what you should take. Whether they made the right decision or not, they’ll have to answer for it on the field.
    By that line of thinking, that means the Jets were right to trade up for Sanchez because other teams had him on their radar, although a QB with that few college starts is a recipe for disaster. That’s just absurd and sheepish to use the masses as your litmus test for what you want. You should only draft players that you like and feel will help you reach your goal, the Super Bowl.
    The speculation is ridiculous in the meantime until these players develop. For my money btw, I think Nicks will be the best of this class. However, I think Heyward-Bey will be better than the two guys that were debated to be taken in his spot (Crabtree and Maclin), but I’m sure history won’t mention that when all the analysts mysteriously forget their draft day diatribes.

  40. Maryland throw the ball 374 times
    Texas tech throw the ball 626 times
    Then again, any receiver would have been with the garbage Maryland had at quarterback (Chris Turner and Jordan Steffy combined for nine touchdowns and 11 picks).
    Well if you really think everything you wrote is true then let’s break the stats down.
    Texas Tech
    Passing stats
    429-604 5007 Yards 43 TD 8 INT 417.2 YPG
    Crabtree’s stats
    93 Catches 1135 Yards 12.2 YPC 18 TD 94.6 YPG
    Which basically tells us that he caught 22.7% of his team’s total passing yardage and 41.7% of his team’s total TDs. Which is really a lot for one man to carry himself. I am not knocking his production.
    He also ran 2 times for 1 yard.
    Passing stats
    227-399 2678 Yards 15 TD 13 INT 206.7 YPG
    Heyward-Bey’s stats
    42 Catches 609 Yards 14.5 YPC 5 TD 50.8 YPG
    Which translates to 22.7% (same as Crabtree) of his team’s total passing yardage and 33.3% of his team’s total TDs. Surprise surprise, Crabtree is more reliable in the TD department, but they both accounted for the same amount of yardage on offense. So your first arguement is null.
    DHB also ran 15 times for 202 yards and 1 TD.
    Here’s a fun little factoid.
    DHB projected on Texas Tech 1134.1 YARDS 14.32 TDS
    Crabtree projected on Maryland 610 YPG 6.3 TDS
    I’m sure Crabtree having more inflated stats had to do with the fact that Texas Tech threw for 53.7% more yards and 34.9% more TDs than Maryland this season, not because DHB can’t play football.

  41. I don’t watch a lot of ESPN, so I’m not familiar with Cris Carter’s work.
    Last time I heard from him, he was pimping for Mike Williams — talking about how great Williams was going to be. Williams, you may recall, worked out with Carter prior to being selected about 10th overall by the Lions.
    And while you may think Al Davis has lost it, the only two receivers he’s selected in the first two rounds in the last 20 years have been Tim Brown and Jerry Porter. Brown was a very good pro. Porter, as a second-round pick, also worked out just fine.

  42. DC_Bengals_Fan says:
    May 11th, 2009 at 2:16 pm
    “The jump from 17 to 7 is not that much”
    Uhh….yeah it is.
    Seriously, you can’t take a receiver at 7 who *can’t catch*.
    Uh.. seriously.. you can’t tell me a Bengals fan is criticizing anyone…

  43. Anybody who has seen DHB play knows he’s the real deal. Maryland has always been a run first offense under Friedgen. They always employ a two RB system that carries a bulk of the offense. They don’t run a spread offense that bulk up a WR’s stat sheet like a lot of other college offenses do.
    On top of that, DHB has an incredible work ethic – that coupled with his freakish God given talent can make him a great WR. I had him second on my board, after Maclin, but before Crabtree.
    He’ll be able to stretch the field with his speed and Russell’s arm to open up the running game. When you look at his stats at the end of the year, also look at any improvements to the Raider running game. His presence will help the RB’s pick up their game.

  44. I don’t care what any of those wanks at ESPN say. Just because they get paid to talk doesn’t mean anyone has to listen to them. As for Heyward-Bey, 7 is too high for almost any receiver, especially for one known to be a bit shy about contact.

  45. Why is Jerry Rice always referred to when trying to justify an athlete having a slow 40, or playing for a small school and didnt dominate at an elite level etc. Have you people ever heard of an anomoly? Apparently not. There is only one Jerry Rice and there will only be one Jerry Rice. Also, Chris Carter may have been a dick, but he is 1000% percent correct. Typical dumbass Raider pick. All you dillusional Raider fans think the media always picks on the poor old Raiders, well the Raiders kind of bring it on to themselves with their comedic way of doing business, their coach hiring process, the type of players they bring in etc etc etc etc etc. I saw another poster talking about when the Raiders get it together we will eat our words. Lol well mr poster if we do, then that would be a first. And I will only say ” its about gd time retards.”

  46. “We’re not rooting for the kid to flop.”
    I’m rooting for him to flop. I want to hear Raiders fans explain that he isn’t a flop, and we’re all stupid for suggesting he is.
    That’s why I love Raiders fans. If their house is on fire, and you point this out, they tell you you’re wrong AND call you stupid. Then they go on to insist that even if the house IS on fire NOW, it hasn’t always been on fire, and there was a long period of time where it was a completely fireproof structure. Then they will go on to call you retarded for suggesting the person who SET the house on fire is an arsonist, even though everyone in the country watched him do it.

  47. @ Real Football Fan
    Rivers and most certainly McNabb were considered 1st round picks even BEFORE the combine. Only reason slapnutz like Akili Smith and Cade McNown were the top 15…..well…consider the organizations that selected them. And that was AFTER the combine. Look who went no.1 overall that year. Matter of fact, McNabb is the last one STANDING from that draft (Culpepper doesn’t count. Any QB that is on team that finishes OH AND SIXTEEN doesn’t count in the conversation for anything)
    And the fact you think Nicks is going to be the class of the WR in this draft, really tells me all I need to know.
    Bottom line: History doesn’t lie. Consider the organization making the picks. There really isn’t any discussion after that.
    @ Raider Nation.
    One flaw in your logic. Even if he is a cancer, there is ALWAYS a coach that thinks he can “reach him”. And Al knows how to get bang for his buck in trades. If there is value there.
    Hysterical. Next time try typing with more than one finger and your eyes open.

  48. @Buck Futter
    Actually, could you alter that scenario for other teams?
    You could replace “Raiders” with “Cowboys” and it would still be an identical story

  49. I seem to remember a Raiders receiver that was very fast but started out having a difficult time catching the ball.
    His name was Cliff Branch. He turned out just fine.

  50. The question then becomes will you BuckFutter be willing to eat your words if he doesn’t flop?
    It doesn’t really matter though, because we won’t know for a couple of years whether the kid is a flop or not. That’s what makes your bashing of him and the Raiders laughable. By the time we know how this rookie class for any team works out you will be posting under a different name and rooting for whatever team won the previous Super Bowl. At that time you’ll be the guy posting everywhere you can, “I told you so” regardless of what you actually said.
    Anyone who claims that they know who of these draft picks will make it big or flop is full of crap.

  51. isnt tom jackson the same guy that sat back and let rush limbauhgh bury mcnabb and sed all the pats hated belichek..but thats besides the point it doesnt matter if the kid becomes they next jerry rice or mike williams people should be treated with some respect especially if theyre about to appear on yr show for an interview…carter acted like this guy killed christmas or something…nobody knows for sure how he will be..but a broadcaster should conduct himself with more class and professionalism..i hope bey bey with the raiders (prolly not) or some other team down the lines wins a championship so he can say hey carter how u like them oranges..

  52. I can’t believe the way these so called analysts acted on television…even when Kolber was interviewing Heyward-Bey. Regardless what team you root for that is classless. No wonder so many people prefer to receive their news from bloggers than from the garbage being produced at ESPN.

  53. Come on, Buckfutter. Hating on Heyward-Bey is like blaming the kid for having lousy parents. Before the draft every dick that doesn’t own a football team said Detroit should not draft Stafford with the first pick. Some even suggested Curry would land there. Heyward-Bey was a simply a first round pick picked too soon. It’s not his fault, but you want to see him ruined so you can prove your point.

  54. “comedic way of doing business, their coach hiring process, the type of players they bring in etc etc etc etc etc. ”
    Mike Hunt you are a tool. Name 2 turds we brought in during the past 10 years. Not all is right about any team, but you can’t get your Raider info from TV commentators. All your “reasons” above are media created stereotypes. What if we did the things the Cowboys have done? The mediots, and you would pull a groin.

  55. 1. ESPN crew need to work on being professionals.
    2. DHB was picked because that’s who Al wanted. If you want someone, go get him.
    3. Calling someone a bust even before a game is played is assinine.
    4. I saw DHB catching balls on Youtube. So much for “he can’t catch.”
    5. DHB’s speed alone will help the Raiders offense.
    6. All you “know it alls” could be making bank if you went into the stock market.

  56. Im not going to defend DHB’s college stats too much, toymachine did a good job of that except to say that in 163 touches in his Maryland career, he fumbled all of once. Sure its a different type of “hands”, but it is evidence of ball security. He faced double-coverage all year and had a QB that lacked the arm strength to hit DHB deep. And of those 15 passing TDs Maryland had last year, 2 were from non QB’s Da’rell Scott and Danny Oqeundo. Maryland QB’s had 13 TDs and 13 INTs.
    In order for the Raiders to trade down and still take DHB, there had to be someone who wanted to trade UP to #7. The Jets made their move to #5 for Sanchez, and nobody else moved up anywhere near #7. Tampa Bay was next, moving into #17 for Josh Freeman. You cant just trade down because you want to, you have to find a partner willing to move into your spot. Knowing they weren’t picking again for another 40 selections, they took the guy they wanted.
    What would you say if I told you a WR was taken #1 overall with 3 years of college stats totalling 67 catches, 1196 yards and 11 TDs? Worst pick ever? or Irving Fryar?
    Now, Im not saying DHB will have a pro career similar to Fryar’s, but you cant tell everything about a player from stats.

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