Grading the Las Vegas Raiders last 5 top-10 draft picks
2009: Darrius Heyward-Bey, Maryland, 7th Overall
Back in 2007 and 2008, Texas Tech wide receiver Michael Crabtree dominated the college football landscape, hauling in 41 touchdowns, and racking up over 3,100 receiving yards. Going into the 2009 NFL Draft, he was widely considered the best wideout available, and picking at No. 7 overall, the Raiders had a chance to get him.
However, this was back when Al Davis was running the show, and he loved speed probably more than any other physical attribute an athlete could bring to the table. That led the Raiders to instead draft Maryland wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, a selection that downright angered most of the Raiders faithful.
With the Raiders, Heyward-Bey would prove the fans right, as he had only one season where he caught more than 60 balls, and scored only 11 times in four seasons. On the other hand, Crabtree would become a fixture in San Francisco, proving to be a legitimate threat for the 49ers before finally landing with the Silver and Black.
This was another case of the Raiders reaching for a player, and in the end, Heyward-Bey was not good enough to live up to the status of being a top-10 pick. The 2011 season was his best with the Raiders, a campaign that saw him inch near the 1,000-yard mark, but he never became the deep threat Mr. Davis was hoping for.