Heyward looks part as 3-4 end for Pats

February, 26, 2011
2/26/11
2:44
PM ET
INDIANAPOLIS -- When Ohio State defensive lineman Cameron Heyward stepped to the interview podium here are the Combine, one thought came to mind: NFL-type size.

This reminded me of something Bill Belichick has said in the past: Part of the reason so many big, athletic defensive linemen are selected in the first round is because it's rare to find them. When they're available, teams usually pounce.

The 6-foot-5 1/8, 294-pound Heyward, who impressed scouts with a strong performance in the Sugar Bowl against Arkansas, would seem to fall into that category this year.

The son of late NFL running back Craig "Ironhead" Heyward, he was impressive in his 12-minute media interview today. From a pure interview perspective, it's easy to see why some teams will like him.

"I’m a guy with a very high motor and I’m going to give you all I got," Heyward said. "You’ll see all my pass-rush moves. I might not have gotten there every time, but I’m going to continue to work on my pass rush and continue to get better.”

Heyward is not working out at the Combine after undergoing left elbow surgery (UCL reconstruction) on Jan.12.

“It’s getting better. I got my full motion back already," he said. "It hurts a lot because I really want to be out here [working out] right now. I wish I could be competing my butt off right now, because I’m itching at this chance. I’m salivating. It’s a great opportunity to be here, to get to see all these great guys and great competition, you want to be a part of it.”

Heyward explained that he's played end and tackle in a 4-3 defense. When Ohio State moved to a 3-4 on third down, he'd play end. Although his statistics don't jump off the page, he believes that his position flexibility -- a buzzword often spoken by the Patriots -- will help him.

"It makes me able to pick out different things," he said. "I’m not just going to be set in one thing. I’m able to help a lot more and there are a lot of teams that do both."

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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