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Raiders bottom draft picks: DHB

4/29/2014

We begin our list of worst Oakland Raiders draft picks since the 1970 merger with receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey checks in at No. 5 …

WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (Maryland, No. 7 overall in 2009)

Who else was available? DT B.J. Raji, C Alex Mack, LB Clay Matthews

You almost feel bad for DHB with this one; he wasn't the one who drafted himself so high and you could never question his work ethic.

But he was the epitome of an Al Davis pick late in his tenure -- the fastest guy at the combine who was as raw as he was fast. Remember what I wrote earlier about Davis desperately trying to find the next Cliff Branch?

Thing was, Heyward-Bey was a project while more established pass-catchers were still on the board such as Michael Crabtree, Jeremy Maclin, Percy Harvin and Hakeem Nicks.

As a rookie, Heyward-Bey caught just nine passes for 124 yards, then had 26 catches for 366 yards in his second season before seemingly breaking out with 64 catches for 975 yards and four TDs in 2011.

But he regressed mightily in 2012 as his rookie case of the dropsies returned with a vengeance (remember that potential game-winning pass against Kansas City in 2009 from Bruce Gradkowski that instead bounced off three of DHB's body parts before being intercepted by Mike Brown?) even as he had 41 receptions.

With a new regime, Heyward-Bey was deemed expendable and cut.

Those Raiders had many more problems than Heyward-Bey, but with his draft slot he's on this list.

Bottom 5 Raiders draft picks since 1970 merger

Dishonorable mention

No. 5: Darrius Heyward-Bey

No. 4: ?

No. 3: ?

No. 2: ?

No. 1: ?