Pros: He has a nice nose for the ball with good speed and range. Is a capable tackler that is comfortable in space and working in pursuit. Does a good job getting drops in zone coverage and is able to read QB. Has a good motor and nice instincts. Is adequate at the point of attack.
Cons: Struggles in man coverage because of lacking hips and quickness. Gets caught in traffic and needs to improve at the point of attack. Will miss some stops in the open field. Over Pursues at times and needs to take better angles.
Overview: Heygood is tailor made to play in the Tampa-2 scheme. He started out as a running back at Purdue, but moved to defense midway through the 2006 season.
NFL Forecast: In the Tampa-2 scheme, he might be a capable starter down the road, much like players like Shelton Quarles came from out of nowhere to be a solid player for the Buccaneers for several years. Probably doesn't project that well in other 4-3 schemes. Can be a decent weakside linebacker in most other 4-3 schemes, but his issues in man coverage are worrisome and could really impair his impact. More than likely, he'll be a backup at best at the next level. But in a Tampa-2 scheme like Chicago, he stands a chance in developing as a capable MLB or WLB down the road.
ATL Forecast: Heygood could be a decent backup linebacker for the Falcons, but only if he can impact early on special teams. He doesn't have great upside and would just be a below average starter. So it's not like the Falcons would really try to develop him. More than likely, he could push for time and potentially land a practice squad spot in Atlanta, but he'll probably be replaced within a year or two.
Value: For a Tampa-2 team like the Bears, he might merit a seventh round pick, but everybody else should sign him as a free agent.
Scouting Reports of inside and outside linebackers in the 2009 NFL Draft
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