Gil Brandt, an analyst for NFL.com and a longtime personnel boss for Tom Landry's Dallas Cowboys, isn't ready to call Darrius Heyward-Bey a bust yet. The former Maryland wide receiver was selected by the Raiders with the seventh overall pick last April when virtually all other teams had him graded as a late first-rounder.
Heyward-Bey struggled through injury and lack of production in his rookie season, drawing fire as the latest in a long line of draft failures for the Raiders. Quarterback JaMarcus Russell leads that infamous delegation.
"The quarterback was a tough decision because they had to take a quarterback because of need," Brandt said during a conference call. "He just hasn't responded to working the way he should.
"I'm still not convinced that Heyward-Bey has failed. I think [wide receivers] come on and become good players," Brandt said. "It takes them a while."
Brandt also had a word on caution on another promising, but flawed, Maryland player.
"Bruce Campbell is a big risk and a great reward," he said. "If you see him in person, it makes you drool. One thing I look at is what your conference thinks of you. Campbell did not get one vote for the All-ACC team."