After redshirting his first year on campus, the Maryland staff was not quite sure just what they had in Heyward-Bey. Once the season started, they realized they had one of the biggest playmakers at the WR position in college football. He earned Freshman All America honors in 2006 after catching 45 balls for 694 yards and five touchdowns. As a sophomore, Heyward-Bey caught 51 passes for 786 yards and three touchdowns. Spotty QB play for the Terps limited his numbers as a junior, but his playmaking ability was still on display. He caught 38 passes for 565 yards and five touchdowns while adding another 208 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
There may not be a more physically gifted receiver in this draft class. Heyward-Bey has tremendous speed, and will not be caught from behind. He also has very good quickness and acceleration, giving him the potential for a home run every time he touches the football. Heyward-Bey is a very good natural athlete that has solid size, and is very tough to cover. It is hard enough for defensive backs to keep up with him because of his speed, but even if they are able to keep up with him, his size and jumping ability allow him to go up and get the football. Heyward-Bey has a ton of upside, as he is still learning the game and continues to get better every season.
Since he is still learning the position, he needs more time playing. He was a track guy playing football entering the program, and is working on changing that. While he has made huge strides in his development, he will need to continue to work on his skills. With more reps he should be able to become more consistent catching the football and running his routes.
Darrius Heyward-Bey could be the fastest player in the entire draft. He was the fastest at the combine, blazing a 4.3 40. He also showed up with an impressive build, holding 210lbs. On a frame just under 6'2. He was very fluid in drills and caught everything thrown his way at the combine and his pro day. DHB has done everything he can to improve his stock in the post season, and could be one of the top three receivers selected this year. He still needs some more work to beecome a well rounded receiver, but the upside is amazing. With the improvement he has shown in three years as a Terp, there is no reason to expect the growth to stop now.