The Oakland Raiders have taken Darrius Heyward-Bey of Maryland with the seventh pick of the NFL draft, passing up more heralded accomplished receivers to take the fastest of them all.
The decision to choose Heyward-Bey on Saturday ahead of Michael
Crabtree and Jeremy Maclin or offensive tackle Eugene Monroe came as a bit of a surprise.
Heyward-Bey had 42 catches for 609 yards and five touchdowns last season, numbers that paled in comparison to Crabtree's 97 catches for Texas Tech and Maclin's 102 for Missouri.
But Heyward-Bey was the fastest receiver at the combine, running the 40-yard dash in 4.3 seconds and speed is always a priority for owner Al Davis.
Finding a big-play receiver for quarterback JaMarcus Russell was a priority for the Raiders, who have lost at least 11 games for six straight seasons. Johnnie Lee Higgins led all of Oakland's wideouts with 22 catches, and the team had just 82 receptions in all from the position.
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