ROAD TO THE DRAFT
Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State
Draft projection: Late first- or early- to mid-second round.
Lowdown: Heyward is the son of former NFL heavyweight running back Craig “Ironhead” Heyward. The Ohio State product looks like an ideal 3-4 defensive end, playing a 5-technique (head-up opposite the offensive tackle). He’s big boned with a thick trunk and he’s strong. He made 45 career starts over four seasons. He’s a stay-at-home force, and he has good character. He’s not likely to be a big pass-rush threat, because he’s not real explosive, but he shows some potential. He had 15.5 career sacks, 3.5 as a senior and 6.5 as a junior. He could be an consideration for Buffalo in the second round.
Heyward on his off-field interests growing up: "My true love was drawing. There is a picture I drew of my dad with a Zest bottle that got in the newspaper. I love drawing. I also love basketball. I thought I'd be the next Shaquille O'Neal. I thought I'd grow to be 7-foot. It never happened. Once I got into football, I couldn't leave it alone. I loved it so much. Even though I was uncoordinated for a while, I started to get the hang of it. I think my coaches were like 'What is he doing out here?' … I finally grew into my body."
Ironhead Heyward was a 260-pound behemoth who rushed for 4,301 yards over an 11-year NFL career that ended in 2008. What would son think if he had to try to tackle dad?
“I'd take him on, full head. He would do, he would lower his head too. I'm going to go right at him. I'm not going for the ankles, I'm going to take him down right away.”
(The Road to the Draft will be a daily feature on the Billboard Blog until the NFL Draft on April 28.)