Oakland Raiders - AFC West
Maryland WR Darrius Heyward-Bey
Maryland WR Darrius Heyward-Bey
Posted Apr 27, 2009

Oakland Raiders - AFC West, 2009 Draft Selections & Prospects

Oakland Raiders

 - 2009 NFL Draft Breakdown and Analysis
1st Round
| 2nd Round | 3rd Round | 4th Round | 5th Round | 6th Rd | 7th Rd

CFN 2009 Draft Central & Team-by-Team Picks and Analysis


7 7 1st Round 
Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR Maryland 6-2, 210 (Jr.)

Speed, speed and more speed. There's no questioning his athleticism, his wheels, or his raw skills that everyone knew about throughout his career, and were then shown off at the Combine and in workouts. However, he might be a one-trick pony as a speed receiver. Not a consistent playmaker for the Terps and not a do-it-all sort of performer, he's a deep threat who'll stretch the field and create major problems for any secondary and any top corner. However, he has work to do to become more of a short-to-midrange target to go along with the elite wheels. He'll do what he has to. He'll work his tail off to become more than just a track guy playing football and isn't a prima donna.
CFN Value Rank:
First Round
   CFN Position Rank: 4
15 47 2nd Round (from San Diego through New England)  
Michael Mitchell, S Ohio 6-1, 215
He hits like a linebacker and has a terrific blend of size and speed. However, he wasn't anything special for the Bobcats making 62 tackles, finishing fourth on the team, with a sack with three picks. Strictly a developmental prospect, he was never considered much of a pro prospect but could see time in a camp.

CFN Value Rank:
Free Agent    CFN Position Rank: NR
7 71 3rd Round 
Matt Shaughnessy, DE Wisconsin  6-5, 260

Very tall and relatively thin with the potential to get bigger and stronger, he could be a nice late flier with little risk and great upside. Talk about fighting through adversity, he suffered a broken leg in spring ball last year and had to deal with the death of his brother. He still had a nice season, but there's a chance he could be far better now that he's a year removed from the injury and the tragedy. While he doesn't do any one thing well, he has the potential to become a solid back up end and spot starter in any formation.
CFN Value Rank: Fifth Round
   CFN Position Rank: 16
24 124 4th Round (from New England)
Louis Murphy, WR Florida 6-2, 205
The skills are all there and he has tremendous upside, but he has to work on becoming a wide receiver. His sub-4.4 speed alone makes him a strong deep threat, and he's a great athlete who can jump out of the stadium. Throw in the character, he was a captain on a national championship team, and he would seem like a near-perfect prospect. However, he needs polish in a big way. He was good for the Gators but he didn't become great until his senior year. Even so, he was underrated compared to the rest of the stars on last year's team; he never got enough credit for all he did for the offense. He's not going to be anything to count on right away unless he's used as a pure deep threat, but he can improve his concentration, limit the drops, a work and work and work on his basic receiving skills, he could make a lot of money as a long-time pro.
CFN Value Rank: Third Round
   CFN Position Rank: 11
26 126 4th Round (from Miami)
Slade Norris, DE/LB Oregon State 6-2, 235
A high energy producer who fights to make plays and is always working to get to the ball. However, he's not a great athlete, can be erased by a good block, and doesn't have the wheels to get around the edge. He's too small to be an end and he's too slow to be a regular linebacker.

CFN Value Rank: Free Agent
   CFN Position Rank: NR
26 199 6th Round (from New England)
Stryker Sulak, DE Missouri  6-4, 250
A pass rushing terror for the Tigers, Sulak played through an injured knee and was one of the Big 12's best all-around ends. With good closing ability and a great burst, he could develop into a killer of a specialist if he can hit the weights harder. While he's built like an outside linebacker, he doesn't really have the skills to be one. He's an end who has reached the limit on how big he can get without a little bit of luck; he can't seem to put on weight. On the plus side, with his motor, he could stick on a roster as a special teamer.
CFN Value Rank: Seventh Round
   CFN Position Rank: 21
29 202 6th Round (from Carolina)
Brandon Myers, TE Iowa 6-4, 250
Purely a blocker, and not a particularly good one, he can only catch short to midrange passes and he's not even all that great at that. A prototype tight end prospect as far as size and build, it doesn't translate to the field. He needs a lot of work and he needs to be able to do one thing well to not get cut immediately.

CFN Value Rank:
Free Agent      CFN Position Rank: NR


The Draft Was ... All about Darren McFadden. If turns out to be as good as he's supposed to be, nothing else matters. This team needs playmakers, and McFadden is the ultimate home-run prospect. It won't be a shock if he's the only draft pick who makes the team.
Best Value Pick: Tyvon Branch, CB Connecticut. 4th round. In a big draft for corners, Branch flew a bit under the radar. It's not like Oakland needed a corner, but he was too good to pass up.
Biggest Reach: Arman Shields, WR Richmond. 4th round. He's a special teamer, even with his 4.4 speed. Never all that great at the lower level, he's the type of prospect the Raiders fall in love with in the workout but take too early from the film room.
They Should've ... Addressed the needs. Oakland didn't need a running back, but there's no complaining about taking McFadden. It didn't need a corner, but Branch was worth it. Where are the sure-thing receivers to help JaMarcus Russell? Where's the defensive line help?


4 4 1st Round    Darren McFadden, RB Arkansas
While it might be easy to blow off the off-the-field issues and the character questions, they do merit attention. Is he Rashaan Salaam/Curtis Enis once he hits the big time? The speed is jaw-dropping, the burst and quickness are phenomenal, and the college résumé is unquestioned. Physically, at the next level, his issues could be with ball security and getting into the open to make the long runs he'll need to make a big impact. NFL backs don't get into the clear all that often; the breakaway speed won't matter as much outside of roughly six times a year. Just ask Reggie Bush. It'll be the ability to pound it inside on a regular basis that'll be the key, and his upright running style will get him popped a little too often. With his frame, body-type, and speed, he could be the next Robert Smith. That's not a negative.
CFN Value Rank: Early First Round   CFN Position Rank: 2
1 100 4th Round (from Dallas)    Tyvon Branch, CB/FS Connecticut
4.36. Branch was considered a nice prospect with good size and excellent production over the last few seasons, and then he came to the Combine and ripped off a 4.36. A great tackler, he made 168 over the last two seasons, but he only picked off three career passes. His value as a returner will only make him more attractive; he'll make an impact in some was on special teams from the moment he steps on the field. If he struggles at corner, he'd make a whale of a free safety.
CFN Value Rank: Third Round   CFN Position Rank:
26 125 4th Round (from trade)   Arman Shields, WR Richmond
Eyes open up when you run a 4.41. One of the quickest most productive prospects at the Combine, he showed he could cut on a dime, run as well as anyone, and put up the kind of numbers many of the top ten receiver prospects would love to have. He hurt his knee in college and was never an ultra-productive player, even at the lower level. He'll have to find a niche on special teams and he'll have to something special early in training camp to stick around.
CFN Value Rank: Sixth Round    CFN Position Rank:
3 169 6th Round  Trevor Scott, DE Buffalo
The former tight end is making himself into a good end. At close to 6-5 and 256 pounds, he has a frame that could support a lot more weight, and he's just scratching the surface on what he can become. He tries his tail off and is more than happy to work on becoming as good as he can possibly become, but he's far from being an NFL defensive end. He needs to get a lot stronger and a little bigger. 
CFN Value Rank: Sixth Round 
CFN Position Rank: 21
19 226 7th Round     Chaz Schillens, WR San Diego State
Schillens is a flier on speed. He didn't do much of anything in college, and was a disappointment considering his potential, but at 6-4 and 208 pounds with 4.39 wheels, the measurables are there to warrant a chance. He needs to learn how to run routes and be a crisper all-around target.
CFN Value Rank: Free Agent   CFN Position Rank: 39