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  1. #1
    Weddle Guest

    Question Michael Crabtree - Should we draft him??

    Taken from my Rams blog

    With thoughts about who the Rams should take at 1.2 swinging one direction and then another, polarising opinions on how best to solves our recent woes, I figured doing some Prospect Profiles may well help clear up the picture.

    One of the most opinion dividing players linked with the Rams is Texas tech’s standout wide-receiver Michael Crabtree, so where better to start!

    Micheal Crabtree:

    Height – 6’3”
    Weight – 214lbs
    Approx 40 time – 4.45-4.65seconds

    Stats:

    2007 – 13 games – 134 receptions – 1,962 yards – 22 TDs
    2008 – 13 games – 97 receptions – 1,165 yards – 19 TDs
    TOT – 26 games – 231 receptions – 3,127 yards – 41 TDs

    Averaged 120.3 yards and 1.6 touchdowns per game in college
    Holds NCAA records for Freshman Receptions (134), Freshman Yards (1,962), Freshman Touchdown Receptions (22), Longest Streak of Games with at least 5 catches at a TD (13). Is the only player to ever win the Paul Warfield trophy twice. Is the only player to ever win the Biletnikoff Award twice. Unanimous All-American first team in ’07 & ’08. 5th in 2008 Heisman voting.

    Summary

    Crabtree has long arms, great hands and can make circus catches. He attacks the ball and times his jumps to perfection. He has good instinct and provides his quarterback with a reliable target. He is elusive, has great footwork and is great after the catch. He is willing to go over the middle and ‘make a play’. Has a good frame and decent height. His immense production goes against claims he is a “product of the system” in Leach’s offense. Has questionable route-running due to the style of offense he played in. Straight-line speed is a concern as he may not be able to create consistent separation in the NFL.

    NFL comparisons

    Larry Fitzgerald - Crabtree has chosen to leave college football after his sophomore season, just like Larry Fitzgerald. Fitty is 6’3” and 220lbs (MC - 6’3” & 214lbs) and in 26 games (26) made 161 catches (231), 2,677 yards (3,127) and 34 touchdowns (41).

    Videos

    Top 10 Crabtree Plays in 2007
    Crabtree 2008 Highlights
    Freshman Interview with Desmond Howard

    Conclusion

    Crabtree looks like the real deal. He has fantastic college production that outstrips even the phenom that is Fitty. The issue naysayers have with him is his lack of breakaway speed, and to a lesser extent, his unknown to run NFL routes. His followers will of course point to Fitty’s own 40 time as proof that you don’t have to be lightening fast to be a top NFL wideout, but we must remember that Larry is a freak of nature. A two time winner of the Paul Warfield & Biletnikoff Awards is a first in NCAA history and an incredible achievement. By winning both awards in the same year he puts himself amongst an elite group in recent years that includes Randy Moss (1997), Larry Fitzgerald (2003), Braylon Edwards (2004) and Calvin Johnson (2006), but also NFL busts Troy Edwards (1998) and Charles Rogers (2002).

    Should the Rams take him?

    At first glance it appears that Crabtree would be a luxury pick for the Rams, but delve a little deeper and a case can be made. The Rams only have $8m in cap room, with an unsettled Tory Holt expected to take up $10m. It isn’t too difficult to see the organisation make a break with Holt now it has overhauled the coaching staff, taking us a long way from our former ‘Greatest Shoe on Turf’ glories. If Holt leaves, the Rams would want a big-bodied guy to go opposite Avery, leaving Burton to play in the slot. You would think the Rams would want to lock-up our own Free Agents, namely Atogwe, Bartell and Adeyanju, before playing the FA market, which we have very little cap wiggle to do so. The successful draft strategy is often one of ‘Best Player Available’ and Crabtree could certainly be that when we are on the clock. Also, should a franchise pass on a game changing player such as Crabtree to address a need? Debate is still rife on whether any of the OT class are elite prospects and it may even be possible to draft a starter at 2.2. Top LB Aaron Curry is an OLB when the Rams need an ILB and although he supposedly projects well to move inside, why risk it at 1.2? Is anyone willing to trade up so the Rams can move down and take a need at a more suitable position? I am struggling to see who would right now!

    Although wide-receivers can be very hit and miss coughcoughCharlesRogerscouughcough Michael Crabtree has clearly shown enough in his two years in college football to mark himself as a worthy pick at 1.2. If Holt leaves I can see the merits in picking him as the extra cap room makes us a bigger player in FA to target some positions we missed on in the draft as a result of taking Crabtree. If Holt stays, it’s a tough call as without the blow-you-away speed of an Andre or Calvin Johnson, you aren’t a ‘sure thing’ in the NFL.

    CREDIT TO Wikipedia, ESPN, Texas Tech, FFToolbox, Walter Football, Mocking the Draft, NFLDraftScout and Suite 101 for the info used in the article.
    Last edited by Nick; -02-06-2009 at 12:27 PM. Reason: NO LINKS


  2. #2
    Ramblin` Ram's Avatar
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    Re: Michael Crabtree - Should we draft him??

    if we take Crabtree or not we should certainly make it public that we are likely to as i dont see anyone trading up to pick anyone else. maybe we could pick him then wait for the phone to ring..if it does we`ll get extra picks..if it doesnt we`ll get a great prospect...i personally have Aaron Curry as my pick but Crabtree id rather we have than any other Offensive player.

  3. #3
    Nick_Weasel's Avatar
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    Re: Michael Crabtree - Should we draft him??

    A lot of the reasoning I've seen on this board behind taking Crabtree is, shall we say... lacking; but this is a great write-up that makes me think we should at least consider Crabtree at #2.

    That being said, I'm still not convinced. I recall seeing at one point that all of Oher, Monroe, and A. Smith were grading out better than Jake Long was last year. Now of course Oher has slipped since then, and A. Smith has too a bit. But the point remains that the OT class doesn't have a concensus top prospect not because it's an especially poor class but because it's an especially good one. I think it's not as good as it was once considered, but it's still a good class.

    And I agree that on a team with as many needs as the Rams have, our first instinct should be to take the BPA, but only if the "P" stands for prospect. Obviously taking the "best player available" doesn't make sense unless you want to be backed into defending that taking a punter at #2 overall makes sense if he's the best player in terms of raw ability. And when looking at what makes a prospect, one should look at raw ability AND what position he plays. Unless they are guaranteed HOFers, we're not going to be taking many centers or fullbacks at #2 overall.

    So, in terms of "prospect," how does Crabtree compare to the top tackles? In my opinion, he's not as good a prospect as, say, Monroe. He might be a slightly better player, but only slightly so; and WR is a less important position than LT.

    Now I could be wrong about that. And a lot happens between now and April, so I could very well change my mind. Your write-up convinced me that we need to keep Crabtree in mind. But unless he blows us away at the combine or the OT class really slips, I think OT is the direction we should be looking.

  4. #4
    Weddle Guest

    Re: Michael Crabtree - Should we draft him??

    Thanks for the positive feedback. My plan is to write up similar reviews on my blog for the other prospects we are linked with, so that means the OTs, Curry etc...

    Like yourself, I have also been slightly converted to thinking Crabtree wouldn't be a horrible choice. If Spagnuolo and Devaney take him, it's for a reason... I trust Billy Devs to get it right.

  5. #5
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    Re: Michael Crabtree - Should we draft him??

    I wonder how good he was at quarterback. Still think one of the OT's or Curry would be a better choice but lets wait until after FA and the combine.

  6. #6
    bigredman Guest

    Re: Michael Crabtree - Should we draft him??


  7. #7
    Smoothpace Guest

    Re: Michael Crabtree - Should we draft him??

    Crabtree is our guy!

  8. #8
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    Re: Michael Crabtree - Should we draft him??

    He is starting to sway me some he brings excitement, swagger, confidence, and a hunger to dominate his competition. He dominated at college and will bring some of that fire to this team. That type of guy could rub off on the rest of the players. A great OT would really help as well but they still don't bring the excitement and firey attitude that a Crabtree would bring. I am starting to lean more toward Crabtree if we stay at #2. He will also sell several tickets and jerseys. If we take him it costs us two possible starters at a bigger area of need. Because we could possibly trade down and pick up another 2nd or 3rd round pick. But we hopefully will not be drafting any higher then 16th after this year. Hopefully we can at least improve this year to middle of the pack. We may not get a shot at another WR with his size and tallent in a long time. Avery is our burner and Crabtree would be our taller WR that can make the circus catches. He also has good size to help block in the running game.

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