UDFA Rookie Profile: DT Kellen Heard

S&BI takes a look at Raiders' undrafted rookie free agent Kellen Heard. Heard has had a roundabout collegiate career, originally committing to Miami but never enrolling. After a four year stay with Texas A&M, Heard transferred to play his senior season at Memphis.

Name: Kellen Heard

Position: Defensive Tackle

Height: 6'6"

Weight: 355 pounds

College: Memphis

Heard was rated a 3-star prospect and ranked the 34th best defensive tackle in 2003. Heard originally committed to Miami, but failed to enroll after issues with academics and paperwork. Heard then committed to Texas A&M, and after redshirting 2005, Heard played in 12 games as a redshirt freshman, posting 13 tackles and 2.5 sacks. Heard mainly came off the bench in the follow two seasons, earning three starts to his credit. For some reason or another, Heard did not come back to the Texas A&M program and instead, transferred to Memphis. At Memphis, Heard played in nine games, starting as a right tackle, but switching back to nose guard.

Heard is a guy who has confused most people as to why he hasn't dominated or played to his incredible physical gifts. His career never took off like it was supposed to, and it seems that he has barely managed to stay afloat thanks to his tremendous size. Numbers-wise, he's been productive when he's played, but he's failed to make a dent on depth charts as he's been nothing more than a rotational player (only 3 career starts).

Given the Raiders' need at defensive tackle, Heard makes sense as a cheap, low-risk investment. His size is what will keep teams interested, but given his sparse collegiate career and poor performance at Memphis' Pro Day, it might be an issue of motivation that has kept him from reaching his potential. Despite measuring in at 6'5" and 343 pounds, Heard ran the 40-yard dash in 5.46 seconds and only managed to put up 22 repetitions on the bench press.

Even with the Raiders' lack of depth at defensive tackle, given the coaching staff's desire for hard-working, blue collar types with ample collegiate experience, Heard might be facing an uphill battle in trying to make the roster. What is helping Heard's cause is obviously his size and his versatility to play on both offensive and defensive lines. Still, unless he truly impresses or if the Raiders suffer a devastating injury to the line, Heard might be limited to being a practice-squad player.

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