By Tom E. Curran
Heading into the NFL draft, Tom E. Curran plans a series of looks at potential Patriots draftees. Today's player: Cam Heyward.
Cam Heyward, 6-5, 294, DE,Ohio State
The Skinny:Son of Ironhead. A four-year starter at high-profile, highly-competitive program. While Cam Jordan is wonderfully versatile, Cam Heyward is near the other end of this deep class of defensive end prospects. He's a run-stopper; a plugger. He doesn't do a ton of different things - little pass rush upside - but what he does, he can do pretty well. He's got a very good reputation as a player, teammate and worker.
Gotta Have Him:Drafting Heyward would likely mean the days of kicking Vince Wilfork out to the edge would be over. Coupling Heyward with Wilfork on first and second down would mean a very, very stout front wall that should keep linemen off of inside linebackersJerod Mayo and Brandon Spikes. Additionally, he's a very unselfish, team-first player. Safe pick.
Don't Need Him:Talk about a panning of physical skills? Here's Pro Football Weekly draft analyst on Heyward: "Too gawky, oafish and bumbling in his movement. Lacks coordination, balance and grace." The Patriots love versatility and Heyward really doesn't bring it. A guy like Cam Jordan would address all three downs. Heyward is just a two-down guy.
Forecast:Wes Bunting at the National Football Post says Heyward is the "steady Eddie of the group." Continuing, Bunting said, "He's just a really solid two-down player. He doesn't give you a ton on third down but he's a really safe pick. Not the sexiest selection and could fall into the second round, but if you look at recent drafts, these kinds of guys are the ones teams like. He could be off the board from 20 to 32 or in the early second round. He'd present very good value there."
Patriots Draftability: 7