Vikings looking closely at Maryland receiver
The Vikings were one of at least 25 NFL teams and as many as 40 scouts or coaches who were on hand for Maryland’s Pro Day on Wednesday, according to the Baltimore Sun.
The primary object of attention was wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, who ran routes and caught passes from former Terps quarterback Sam Hollenbach.
Coaches from the Steelers, and Vikings wide receivers coach George Stewart, reportedly spent extra time with him after the workout.
“They gave me feedback like I was already part of the team,” Heward-Bey said.
The Vikings are also said to be among at least five teams that have invited the talented rookie prospect in for a private workout.
Heyward-Bey is listed as the third- or fourth-best receiver in this year’s talent pool, behind Michael Crabtree (Texas Tech) and Jeremy Maclin (Missouri) and neck-and-neck with Percy Harvin (Florida).
“He's one of those kids who was not only blessed with athleticism and speed, he's also got a great work ethic,” Terps coach Ralph Friedgen said. “He's not a finished product. I think he's 60 percent of what he's going to be. I think there's a lot of room for improvement because of that work ethic. I'm very confident that in time he'll be one of the top receivers [in the NFL].”
As preparation for the transition to the NFL, Heyward-Bey has been working out with former NFL Pro Bowl wide receiver Roy Green.
At the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Heyward-Bey posted some impressive numbers. He measured 6015 (6’ 1 5/8”), 210 pounds. He recorded 16 reps at 225 pounds, 1.44 10-yard time, 2.50 20-yard time, 4.25 40-yard time, 38 ½-inch vertical jump, 10’-6” broad jump, 4.18 20-yard shuttle and 6.80 three-cone drill. He also looked very good catching the ball in drills.
While he is still very raw when it comes to the finer points and nuances of the receiver position, Stewart is as well-respected as any coach on the staff with the Vikings and could likely develop Heyward-Bey into an exceptional all-around receiver in the NFL.
He could very well be a potential target for the Vikings at No. 22 in the first round of this April’s NFL draft.
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