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Friday, February 20, 2009
Heyward-Bey a nice fit for Colts or Titans?

By Paul Kuharsky
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

INDIANAPOLIS -- The plan at the AFC South Blog is to write extensively about Percy Harvin in the next couple days. A lot of people think he's a guy the Colts at No. 27 or the Titans at No. 30 should consider.

 
  G Fiume/Getty Images
  Maryland receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey could be a fit in the AFC South.
But a wideout that could be more attractive than Harvin to both receiver-needy AFC South teams at the back of the first round talked earlier Friday at a podium here at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Maryland's Darrius Heyward-Bey is intriguing -- a big guy at 6-2, 210, he plans to run a 4.4 or better, he scored a lot of long TDs at Maryland, he is a willing blocker and looks to be a solid route-runner, though he needs to show better hands on a consistent basis.

I was particularly impressed with what he said differentiates him from other receivers in this draft class. Here are some highlights from his podium session:

What type of player are you?

"I do believe I'm a game-breaker. I made big plays at College Park and I think I'll continue to do that in the future."

How do you explain all the long scoring plays?

"I think it's a combination. Being able to make the big plays, having the ability to run after the catch, reverses, make plays downfield. All those things put together, that's how I had long touchdowns in my career."

What will you bring into the league?

"I think I'll bring a playmaker, somebody who can stretch the field. Being able to have somebody on the field that can run deep during cover-2, that can get other people open, that can open up the running game. When you have somebody who makes play, you're always a threat on the football field."

How are you at run blocking down field?

"I rate myself pretty good. That's what we did in practice. Understanding the angles, that's key to blocking. You can't go out there and just knock people out. You've got to be able to do the right things, know the scheme. What will you bring to the NFL?"

What separates you from other receivers in the draft?

"I played in the pro-style offense. I played the West Coast. I understand how to sight-adjust, coverages. I think that's something people don't really think about when it comes to football. Everybody is really worried about the 40 time, worried about how many stats you have. But do you understand football? Are you ready to come into the NFL game and know what you're doing? I think I have that knowledge. I have that ability to pick things up fairly quickly and be on the field early."