2011 NFL Draft Player Profile | Cameron Heyward
The son of the late Craig Heyward, Cameron is a graduate of Peachtree Ridge High School in Georgia. He was a four star prospect ranked as high as the fourth best player in the state as a senior in high school.
Heyward has always been a big player with a large frame and long arms. He’s known for his strength and ability to hit you hard with his brute force tackles. Heyward played in every game since arriving at Ohio State, starting many even as a true freshman. His presence was felt early on by opposing offenses who struggled to find a solution for him, as he could line up at both defensive tackle and defensive end.
Player Name: Cameron Heyward
Position: Defensive End
School: Ohio State
Heyward is a strong, bull rushing defensive lineman who is known for his excellent leg drive, and initial burst off of the ball. He moves well laterally, but perhaps his biggest strength is his mind. He is very instinctive, and reads the play only to react in a split second. He can fill the running lanes with his large frame, and his long arms let him bat down balls, as well as get his hands on the running back even when engaged in blocks. Heyward is excellent in keeping his contain, and he’s rarely caught out of position. He has a great spin move to disengage from lineman so that he can make a play on the runner. His pass rushing skills are average. He lined up as a five technique at times when Ohio State would run some 3-4 schemes, and also played a lot of defensive tackle in his first few seasons which shows excellent versatility.
Heyward tends to disappear in games. Part of this is due to the fact that he gets double teamed at times, and another part is that he doesn’t have a very high motor. While he moves well laterally, he still doesn’t have very quick feet, and he’s not agile. He has a bull rush and spin move as his abilities in the pass rush, which is why it’s just average, and not great. However, he can penetrate the defensive line, having 23 total tackles for loss in his final two seasons as a Buckeye. At times he looks slow and unconditioned, and he can take plays off.
Heyward still has a lot of proving to do at the NFL Scouting Combine. Right now his range sits around picks 18-32. In our latest mock, he goes to the Chargers at pick 18, but that may be a bit too high for Heyward with some other guys like Christian Ballard and J.J. Watt boosting their stock. He will need to improve on his overall quickness and show scouts that his feet aren’t bricks. Look for him to be a lock to be selected by a team currently running a 3-4 defense. San Diego, Kansas City, Baltimore, New England, Green Bay and Pittsburgh are all candidates, although Green Bay and Baltimore are more unlikely. The Saints could also use his versatility on the defensive line and move him in and out just like he was at Ohio State.
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