When the Oakland Raiders selected Maryland wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey with the No. 7 pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, pretty much everyone said it was one of the worst picks in league history. Talent evaluators were virtually unanimous in their claims that Heyward-Bey had tremendous speed but had issues catching the ball and running routes. Last time I checked the latter two of those are pretty damn important when you’re a receiver in the NFL. The Raiders then proceeded to give Heyward-Bey a five-year contract that will guarantee him at least $23.5 million, which is a ridiculous figure for a rookie wideout.
So how is the kid doing? No doubt proving all of us wrong and inching closer to the Hall of Fame everyday, yes? Let’s look for his stats among the league leaders…hmmm Heyward-Bey, Heyward-Bey…can’t find him. OK, what about the Raiders’ leaders…hmmm Zach Miller, Louis Murphy, Michael Bush, Justin Fargs, Gary Russell, Darren McFadden, Johnnie Lee Higgins…AH, there he is. Darrius Heyward-Bey: Six catches, 96 yards, zero touchdowns. Yep, on his way to a Hall of Fame career.
It’s getting even better for DHB. According to the San Francisco Chronicle Oakland head coach Tom Cable had this to say about Heyward-Bey’s performance thus far: “At the end of the day, when you say wide receiver, it’s like, ‘How many did you catch for how many and how many touchdowns did you score?’”
It appears that Cable is now considering benching DHB until he actually learns how to catch a football. Apparently, Mr. Heyward-Bey has a bad case of the dropsies this year on top of the fact that he can’t seem to get open. He clanked two passes in the red zone in the Raiders’ 16-10 loss to the Chiefs on Sunday and he’s never snagged more than two passes in a game. Our boy Darrius has played in every game this year, has been targeted 29 times and has just (the aforementioned) six catches and three drops. That’s it.
To give you an idea just how bad Heyward-Bey’s six receptions are, 234 players have seven or more receptions in the NFL this season.
Yet another fantastic pick by the Oakland Raiders.