Time for our weekly Q&A session with Scott Wright of draftcountdown.com:
Q: A Baltimore Sun report last week had the Eagles as one of the teams arranging for a private workout with Maryland wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey. Give us your take on Heyward-Bey, what his strengths/weaknesses are, and how quickly he could make an impact.
A: Here is my scouting report on Heyward-Bey:
6-1 5/8 210 lbs. 4.30
Strengths: A smooth, fluid athlete...Long strider with rare speed...Explosive with great acceleration and a burst...Quick and agile...Terrific height and bulk with long arms...Excellent leaper...Nice body control and ball skills...Tough and not afraid to work the middle...Vertical threat who can separate...Also a dangerous weapon on reverses...Great work ethic...Could also contribute as a return man...Still has a ton of upside.
Weaknesses: Is inconsistent catching the ball and does not have great natural hands...Questionable instincts and awareness...Still very raw as a route runner...Not much wiggle and won't make people miss...Doesn't break a lot of tackles...Average strength...Marginal blocker...Has little or no special teams experience...Wasn't real productive.. Workout Warrior?
Notes: A three-year starter in the ACC...Was a track All-American in high school...Redshirted in 2005...A two-time All-ACC selection...Featured prominently in the Maryland record books, ranking second in career receiving yards, third in receptions and is tied for third in touchdown catches...Was grossly underutilized in the Terrapins offense and the quarterback play left much to be desired as well...Dynamic playmaker who is a threat to score every time he touches the ball...Intriguing prospect with top-flight measurables but might be a better athlete than football player...Boom or Bust type who will require some patience and development but he has all the tools to be a No. 1 wideout in the NFL.
The bottom line is “DHB” has a world of potential, but he also has a high bust factor as well. Some have even compared him to Troy Williamson. He isn’t the type of guy you expect to come in and be a stud right away, but if everything breaks right he could be a true No. 1 target with a few years of development.
Q: I was asked on a radio show last week about the possibility of the Eagles taking a running back with one of their first-round picks. While it makes sense to an extent, I’m not sure they’d use one of those picks on a guy who might only touch the ball seven or eight times a game. Who are some of the running backs in the later rounds that you think could be players?
A: It obviously depends on what type of guy they are looking for, but here are some mid-to –late round running backs who I feel can be good backups in the NFL:
Mike Goodson, RB, Texas A&M – Underrated prospect who came out is a junior. Great athlete with excellent speed and also a very good receiver.
James Davis, RB, Clemson – Was the No. 1 senior running back heading into the 2008 season. I feel he has starting potential in the right situation.
Javon Ringer, RB, Michigan St. – Productive runner with average physical tools and top-notch intangibles who carried the ball 390 times as a senior.
Jeremiah Johnson, Oregon – Has durability concerns and lacks elite timed speed but he plays fast, is a big play threat and can do a little bit of everything.
Kory Sheets, RB, Purdue – Average size but is a threat as a runner, receiver and return man.
Q: What happened at Andre Smith’s Pro Day? There seem to have been conflicting reports.
A: It wasn’t as bad as some made it out to be. Smith’s biggest mistake was taking his shirt off, and that footage of him running the forty is forever embedded in the minds of anyone who saw it. However, there aren’t many 330 pounders who do look good with their shirts off. I have been going to the Senior Bowl weigh-in for a number of years, and offensive linemen just aren’t going to win best body contests at the beach.
Smith’s numbers in the timed events were solid, albeit not spectacular, but he did do a nice job in the positional drills, and for many that’s what really counts. Ultimately Smith is simply too talented to fall out of the Top 10 overall picks.
Q: Compare Jason Smith and Eugene Monroe, the two tackles that are expected to go early.
A: Jason Smith and Eugene Monroe actually carry very similar grades and I have them at No. 3 and No. 5 in my overall rankings. Smith just has a little more upside which is why I gave him the slight edge. As far as their games go, Smith is a better a pass blocker, but Monroe is a little more well-rounded in terms of pass pro and run blocking. Both should come off the board in the top 4-6 picks.
Q: We’ll continue our “sleeper” question. Last week you told us your definition of a sleeper. So please give us a small-school player and an underrated prospect at quarterback.
A: My top small-school quarterback is Rhett Bomar from Sam Houston St., who I actually feel is the No. 4 signal caller in this draft. Bomar may have played at a low-level program, but he is a big-time talent, and he was actually one of the nation's top recruits coming out of high school. Unfortunately, after a nice start to his career at Oklahoma, he ran into some trouble with the NCAA, which led to his dismissal. You have to wonder if Bomar would have won a Heisman Trophy and been a first round pick had he remained with the Sooners… Bomar was easily the most impressive quarterback at the Senior Bowl in my opinion, displaying a strong arm and quick release, and personally I’d start considering him as early as Round 2, although he’ll probably be chosen somewhere in the 3-5 range. Honorable mention goes to Mike Reilly from Central Washington and Jason Boltus from Hartwick College.
As far as an underrated prospect, I’d single out Stephen McGee from Texas A&M. He has the physical tools you look for and is a good athlete, but wasn’t really able to maximize his potential in college because he was not a good fit for the Aggies' offensive scheme. However, he had strong showings at the East / West Shrine Game and the Scouting Combine and could be a nice mid-to-late round pick for someone.