Yeah, I’m the guy that’s reading way too much into a 5th round pick. Maybe I’m making a reach only Al Davis and the Oakland scouting department would envy. But to me the end is near for Darrius Heyward-Bey.
Denarius Moore might not make the 53-man roster. For all we know he may never even play in an NFL contest. However, by adding another deep threat to the mix the Raiders have sent a strong message to DHB – shape up or ship out.
I don’t want this to come across the wrong way. Hey-Bey is no purple drank addicted loafer living off the fat of his contract. He’s the exact opposite in fact. Heyward-Bey is a hard worker with a team first mentality.
Fact of the matter is in the NFL it’s all about production. Al Davis himself subscribes to the production over percentages philosophy. DHB has simply not produced and his percentage of targets to catches is more laughable than a franchise being built on the back of Tim Tebow.
By drafting Moore the Raiders are putting Heyward-Bey on the hot seat. A man who was handed a job as a rookie is suddenly going to have to compete for a role if and when we ever get back to the business of playing football.
Why else would the Raiders draft another receiver? Specifically a receiver that brings one true quality to the team – the ability to stretch the field.
Isn’t that why they reached for Heyward-Bey in the first place? He was valued over better prospects like Michael Crabtree, Hakeem Nicks and Jeremy Maclin because that 4.30 true Raider Speed just screamed DEEP THREAT!
Funny thing is since drafting Heyward-Bey the Raiders have picked three more receivers. One of which (Louis Murphy) was drafted the same year as DHB.
Oakland knew he was a project. That was no secret. He’s been given every chance to prove himself and at every turn he’s been outplayed by the likes of Murphy, Jacoby Ford and even Chaz Schilens in the few instances when he’s healthy.
Of the aforementioned men only Schilens is an unfair comparison. He’s the best of the bunch and only injuries have prevented him from showing that. Otherwise, there is no excuse for being lapped by Murphy and Ford.
You can’t tell me it has anything to do with the QB position, the coaching staff or even the front office. Murphy was productive with noodle arm Bruce and Mr. Purple Juice as his signal caller. Ford found ways to make plays whenever he was given the opportunity and I’m not even factoring in his touches on special teams.
The coaches keep saying positive things about DHB and the iron fist in the owner’s box keeps pushing him onto the field.
Heyward-Bey has yet to take the next step. In fact he’s never truly taken the first step.
Now DHB gets credit for doing a lot of the little things most receivers in the league have no interest in. He has no problem sacrificing his body in the running game and makes no bones about being a decoy in the passing game.
But if that’s all he’s going to contribute then all Denarius Moore has to do is run go routes and be an effective blocker to be an even better value in the same role.
Yeah, I’m the guy that’s jumping to conclusions like Mel Kiper mere seconds after any selection is made in the draft. But you can’t tell me there was any other reason to draft Moore than to put Heyward-Bey on notice.
Oakland had plenty of other areas needing to be addressed in the draft. To use a pick on another receiver – a receiver that you know will be competing with your top pick from two years ago – says a lot even if the team isn’t saying much at all.
Yeah, I’m the guy who over analyzes a meaningless pick. Go ahead and tell me how wrong I am. Truth be told I hope I’m dead wrong. To me it hardly matters. All this could cost me is a little face. For Mr. Davis it will cost him much more.