ESPN has been tearing the Raiders apart the last few days so I found this article (written by Rich Lieberman) to be both refreshing and entertaining. The validity comes from a scouts perspective which in my mind carries more weight then some x-Bronco like Tom Jackson who clearly can not find objectivity when it comes to the Raiders. I hope you enjoy -
The Case for Darrius Heyward-Bey by Rich Lieberman<!-- 1 -->
Almost every sports entity; ESPN, the NFL blogs, NFL Network, columnists, KNBR naturally, the whole fraternity, continues to rip the Raiders selection of Darrius Heyward-Bey as their #1, (#7 overall) draft pick.
These comments from an ex-NFL scout were sent to me via the wires of SFGate:I was once long ago a scout, and teams value different things in their players.
I believe the Raiders are not a high volume passing team. They do not substitute short passes for a running game. It is clear they wanted a WR who will demand that teams rotate a safety to his side of the field on most downs.
A vertical threat in short.If the Raiders were a West Coast offense team Crabtree would have made perfect sense. However the Raiders are not looking for a WR to work intermediate zones; they believe they have that in Miller and in the future, Scheilens.
The pick makes perfect sense to me and is no more of a reach then KC taking Tyson Jackson at #3 because he is exactly what they needed for the "SCHEME" they play on defense.
The comparisons of DHB to Troy Williamson are absurd; he has solid hands. Does he have the best hands of the WRs taken in the first round,?, probably not. Does he have the worst? No, he doesn't by a long shot. His hands are as good as Maclin's.The routes and catches Maclin was asked to make at Mizzou were incredibly easy. The offense HDB operated in was far more sophisticated and demanding a great deal more from a wideout to be productive. If Bey were asked to catch bubble screens and turn up field his career numbers in college would be equal to Maclin's and Crabtree's. <!-- 2 -->