NFL Draft Analysis: Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech Red Raiders

by Cory J. Bonini on April 22, 2009 @ 00:00:00 PDT

 


Former Texas Tech Red Raiders wide receiver Michael Crabtree (foot) is entering the 2009 NFL Draft as a third-year sophomore. He has strung together two of the most impressive back-to-back campaigns in football's history, posting 231 receptions for 3,127 yards and a ridiculous 41 touchdowns.

There are very few things Crabtree is not capable of as a receiver, and he has been favorably compared to Houston Texans wideout Andre Johnson on many levels. Crabtree is a two-time winner of the Biletnikoff Award (nation's best receiver) and is widely considered to be the best talent in the entire draft class.

Strengths

  • Great hands
  • An all-around natural athlete with quality size (6-foot-1 1/2, 214 pounds)
  • Of good character
  • Excellent body control and leaping ability
  • Tough to bring down in the open field; accumulates a lot of yardage after the catch

Weaknesses

  • Injury concerns - an X-ray at the combine revealed a stress fracture in his left foot that will require surgery to insert a screw and cost him up to 10 weeks. It is, however, reported to be a surgery with a very high success rate. Crabtree is now walking without a boot.
  • Not blazing fast; may run in the 4.5s or worse (he says he can run a sub-4.4 40 right now)
  • Not asked to do a lot of blocking at Texas Tech
  • Crabtree measured a healthy 6-foot-1 1/2, but some scouts thought he was 6-foot-3, per reports
  • Lacks ideal fluidity in his hips when sitting on short routes

Expected draft placement

Given the report of Crabtree's high probability for a 100 percent recovery from his surgery, his draft stock probably won't be affected too much. Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart underwent surgery for the same injury last year before the draft and was the No. 13 overall pick, so we're confident Crabtree won't fall too far.

The Cleveland Browns (No. 5) have been rumored to be close to trading wide receiver Braylon Edwards, which would leave a huge hole in their already-depleted secondary. Insert Crabtree. It makes sense, but the Browns are reportedly not interested in Crabtree after he acted like a "diva" during a recent visit, according to Tony Grossi, of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Healthy, Crabtree is a lock to be a top-five draft choice, but we can't imagine he slides any further south of the Buffalo Bills at No. 11. More than likely, he doesn't fall past the Oakland Raiders at No. 7 overall. On the high end, the Seattle Seahawks could draft him at No. 4 overall.

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About Cory J. Bonini

Cory is KFFL's General Manager. In late 2002, he joined the KFFL staff as a research analyst and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1996. A member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, as well as Fantasy Sports Writers Association, Bonini has been featured in print, on radio and on scores of websites. Bonini co-hosted Big Lead Sports on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 2011 to 2012.

Bonini was recognized with the 2010 Best Article in Print Award from the FSWA and was a finalist for the same award in 2011. In '11, he finished first overall in the FSWA NFL experts challenge that featured 60 of the industry's best competitors.

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