Louis Murphy Succeeds Where Heyward-Bey Fails
Even though their defense failed to hold the surprising lead, the Oakland Raiders have reason to be excited about one of their rookie wide receivers, although, I don’t think it’s the one they were expecting to embrace. A lot of eyebrows were raised when the Raiders drafted Darrius Heyward-Bey, the speedster with suspect hands from the University of Maryland.
While it might have been a foolhardy pick, Bey was still expected to deliver something that would help justify Oakland’s dice roll.
Unfortunately, at least after the first game, it looks like the Raiders should have put more value on Louis Murphy, their fourth round pick, instead of first-round pick Heyward-Bey. While Heyward-Bey was dropping passes and running sloppy routes that might have contributed to one of JaMarcus Russell’s interceptions, Louis Murphy looked like a steal.
After potentially getting robbed of a touchdown catch in the first half — his butt touched the ground in the end zone before the ball did, which, to me, means the goal line plane was officially broken (Apparently, I’m wrong here, but my point stands. If you break the plane on a running play and immediately drop the ball or hand it to an opposing player even, the touchdown stands. Murphy’s should too.) — Murphy made up for whatever official oversights there may have been and delivered a sweet touchdown catch-and-run that temporarily gave the Raiders the lead.
He also added a nifty exclamation point by dunking the ball over the goalpost crossbar.
Oh yeah, Murphy is only 6-2, meaning not only is he a speedster receiver, he’s also got some hops.
By the time his evening was finished, he had accumulated four catches for 87 yards and a touchdown. Meanwhile, Bey was shutout of the statistical category — save for two drops. As of today, Heyward-Bey looks like bust and Murphy looks like the genuine article. Granted, this could change very quickly, but until Heyward-Bey sheds that pesky “he’s got poor hands” moniker, I’m not sure how it’s going to.