Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State, 6'5 288 lbs
Size / Strength: 10 – Excellent size as a 3-4 DE, a position in need of due to the popularity of the 3-4 defensive scheme. Heyward is very stout at the point of attack, consistently draws double teams and works hard off of those double teams. Stays low with his pad level at times, has good leg drive, and is effective with the bullrush.
Speed: 8 - Not explosive off the snap or a speed rusher in any sense of the term, Heyward has elite level athleticism that covers up for his lack of burst. Good speed for his big size, Heyward showed in the Sugar Bowl vs. pro-talent LT D. Love of Arkansas that he has improved his speed rushing ability.
Production: 7.5 – Slowly climbing the ladder production wise, Heyward never recorded double digit sacks in any of his 4 seasons at Ohio State. Heyward also has never recorded more than 48 tackles in a given season. Even with the previously mentioned stats, it must be noted that Heyward's presence alone commands double teams and Cam Heyward is game planned away from more often than not.
Intangibles: 10 – Cam Heyward returned for his senior season and, according to the Ohio State coaching staff, has the best work ethic of any Buckeye football player on roster. Heyward has a constant motor and also has strong leadership qualities.
Run / Pass Skills: 8.5 – Prior to the Sugar Bowl this past month, I would have given Heyward a 7.5 in Run/Pass Skills; however the clinic Heyward displayed against Arkansas was impressive. Heyward showed the skills to get to the quarterback consistently, all the while facing a pretty solid left tackle, Demarcus Love. Cam Heyward is strong at the point of attack, never seeming to be overpowered.
Heyward is very productive against the run, setting a hard edge and scraping down the line with his shoulders squared when on the backside. He has excellent football IQ, diagnosing plays quickly. Cam plays his responsibilities and maintains backside contain. All in all a perfect 3-4 DE.
Best fit: 3-4 DE (either a 2 gap or 1 gap scheme). NFL-wise Heyward is the ideal DE for the New England Patriots; a stalwart against the run, with enough athleticism to develop into a dominant pass rusher.
X-Factor: Can Heyward improve on his pass rushing ability by adding more pass rush moves to his repertoire? Does he have the strength to bull rush blockers in the NFl, just as he did in the Big Ten? Needs to have impressive pro day and combine workouts by convincing scouts of his elite strength and pass rush improvements.
Where he will be picked: First Round
Where he should be picked: Mid First Round
NFL Comparison: Richard Seymour, Oakland Raiders
Cameron Heyward Highlight Video
Cameron Heyward 80 yard interception return!