Darrius Heyward-Bey, the much maligned 7th overall pick from 2009 has been a conundrum for most of his 3 years in the Silver & Black. A likely first or high second round pick in 2009 even had Davis not reached for him with a top 10 selection, would likely still be a disappointment even if falling into the early second round based solely upon his numbers.
Heyward-Bey has struggled with being a “hands” receiver for most of his time in Oakland and, for all of his physical gifts – speed, size, a large body frame – he has a hard time coming down with difficult receptions and winning one on one matchups with defensive backs. Heyward-Bey has shown that he’s at his best when he can receive the ball closer to the line of scrimmage and use his speed and size to gain yards after the catch (YAC).
However for all of that, Heyward-Bey or DHB as he’s often called, has shown great work ethic, humility and a willingness to learn and has continued to grow each season he’s been with the Raiders culminating in a season that was within sight of 1000 yards receiving last year.
Many, myself included, thought that DHB’s skill-set would mesh well with Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Knapp’s style of throwing higher percentage passes and looking to get YAC. Much of the throws that Knapp favors are shorter passes where the receiver can get positive yardage and look to make a first down.no comments