Mel Kiper Jr., an ESPN draft analyst and a Baltimore native, said the Terps "didn't make a concerted effort to get him the ball enough. He's got to get it six to eight times a game."

Friedgen said defenses forced the Terps away from Heyward-Bey.

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  • Darrius Heyward-Bey

    About this series

    He's 6 feet 3 and weighs 206 pounds. He runs faster than most people on the planet. He's the big-play wide receiver many NFL teams covet, and he could be chosen in the first round of the NFL draft. We begin a series of occasional articles looking at Maryland's Darrius Heyward-Bey as he prepares for the draft at the end of April.

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"If I was coaching against Darrius, I'd make them throw the ball somewhere else," he said. "What do you do? Try to find a way to force the ball into him? Throw incomplete, then you're punting."


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Still, when told of Mayock's assertion that Heyward-Bey did not catch the ball naturally, Friedgen said: "His technique has got to be better. Darrius knows that."

Toward that end, Heyward-Bey spent the past month in Phoenix at a training center called Athletes' Performance. There, he went through two workouts a day, running, lifting weights, doing the agility drills that will be timed at the combine.

He got on the field three times a week to catch passes from Georgia's Matthew Stafford, the likely No.1 pick in the draft, and Kansas State's Josh Freeman. They are all in the stable of super-agent Tom Condon of Creative Artists Agency, which has represented the NFL's top pick in four of the past five drafts.

Ben Dogra, who helps represent Heyward-Bey at CAA, knows there are players coming out with better statistics. But he doesn't think anyone is coming out with better potential.

"He's a young player," Dogra said. "They'll have to project him. You're not going to take him in the first round based on pure numbers.

"His [college] production is a function of the offense, a function of him developing. He started football at a later age. He's still learning it. In two or three years, with better coaching, nobody knows how good he can be."
About this series
He's 6 feet 3 and weighs 206 pounds. He runs faster than most people on the planet. He's the big-play wide receiver many NFL teams covet, and he could be chosen in the first round of the NFL draft. We begin a series of occasional articles looking at Maryland's Darrius Heyward-Bey as he prepares for the draft at the end of April. Today: Making sure he's ready for the NFL scouting combine.


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