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View Poll Results: Which would you rather have?

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  • Avery/Burton/Drafted WR and Curry/Witherspoon/Pisa

    29 50.00%
  • Crabtree/Avery/Burton and Draft/Witherspoon/Pisa

    13 22.41%
  • Neither, I want an O-Lineman

    16 27.59%
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  1. #16
    PeoriaRam's Avatar
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    Re: My case for Michael Crabtree...

    Quote Originally Posted by jerseyramsfan View Post
    Without Holt our wide receivers wouldn’t scare most college teams in the nation. Their just too young to compete in the NFL. Problem is we might have a better offensive line after the draft but Bulger will still have trouble with someone getting open. We are gonna have to be really patient with this group…
    Fortunately Steven Jackson would scare just about all of them. The Rams likely will focus more on him next year as opposed to the receivers.


  2. #17
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    Re: My case for Michael Crabtree...

    Curry all the way defense wins SB's.

  3. #18
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    Re: My case for Michael Crabtree...

    Successful, superstar WR all must have something in common. They most be a physical freak or do something, or have something that defenses can't defend and the other WR's can't do.

    Look at some of the top WR's over the last few years.

    They are usually very tall 6ft4 and above. Plax, Fitz, CJ, Andre Johnson, Brandon Marshall

    Very fast Moss, Ocho, Rody White, D.Jax, Berrian

    SuperStrong Boldin, Fitz again, TO, Steve Smith

    Where does Crabtree fit ?

    He is shifty in the open field but not super fast. Doesn't have the physical body to go get balls in the NFL nor get the defender off him for YAC.
    He doesn't have the speed to slip by the defense. Plus he has shown he is hurt.

    Too many negatives when there is a really, really deep draft of recievers.

    Britt and Bey seem like the best i the draft to me. Then you have Harvin, Hicks, and Murphy.

    Thats 5 good recievers.


    Taking Crabtree makes zero sense for the Rams and any other team in the top 7 picks.

    Crabtree isn't worth the chance.

    He should slip to aleast pick 7 maybe 10-12 range, and I honestly don't think he is that good a player.

    Lets take Curry who is a stud LB. No injury. Combine tested great.

    He makes the whole defense better immediately and will be contributing on every play on defensive side of the ball.

    NO brainer against Crabtree --

    Round 1 Curry is the pick -- Jason Smith is only other option but I think Detroit will take him anyway.


    Crabtree would also have to live in Holt's shawdow being picked so high and demand to much money for a WR that that did nothing in the cotton bowl shootout and have to be the leader of a WR core when D.Avery is probably better than him. Avery will get mad seeing this guy makes more money than him and Avery will out stat him all over the field.


    Then we lose Avery to FA.

    awful pick all the way around..

  4. #19
    LongBlood's Avatar
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    Re: My case for Michael Crabtree...

    Sorry for the delay...but I got injured at work that resulted in me having some soft tissue/ligament damage done to one of my fingers which made typing damn near impossible.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bar-bq View Post
    So a 'great' WR can't be the number one WR on our roster? I think you'll be hard pressed to find anyone else who feels that he won't be atop our depth chart come September.
    You can be "great" against a #2 corner or a nickle...but that doesn't mean you should automatically be atop the teams depth chart. The reason that he is, is very unsettling for me. Another thing to think about regarding Avery is if you take away just 3 of his catches (his longest ones, 43 yds, 42 yds, & 69 yds) he loses a staggering 22.8% of his yardage totals and is left with just one touchdown! Avery is too inconstant, in my book to be a top the depth chart atleast right now.

    There's definitely a hole there, and I think it has more to do with a lack of veteran leadership than a lack of talent. Typically it takes NFL receivers three years to really hit their stride, and as good as Crabtree is, he won't address an immediate need. He'll still require time to adjust, as all rookies do.
    Grrrrr....I HATE arguments like this. Veteran Leadership? I want players that can play! Period, end of story. Go out there, and do you're freaking job. Spags has said he doesn't want a "quick" fix...and the truth of the matter is, that by drafting OL in the first round, that's exactly what you are doing! IMO, that's not what is best for this franchise. We should take the best skill WR for the very reason you just inexplicable made, which has been my point ALL ALONG. WR's take time to develop! Get the best WR because its going to take him a yr or two to take form, and address the line in later rounds and next yr, because line play tends to be more "instant" starter. When we draft Holt in 99, he put up 788 yds his first yr, then jumped to 1,635...but he was #2 behind Bruce. Avery was brought in last yr to replace Bruce, but guess what...now we need someone to replace Holt because Avery isn't going to have the luxery of having a #1 WR running opposit him this yr, but he can have another young high profile WR that will age almost at the same rate as him.

    None of this will happen without a functional OL. I think the best investment in the future of this offense has to lie with Eugene Monroe or Jason Smith.
    Lines do build championships...I've never discounted it, but given the fact that we lost the 2 stable parts of our WR corps in just two yrs and have no depth. We lost Pace, but now we can and should move Barron to the left side. And I know I'm going to take a ton of crap for this, but it needs to be said. Barron was picked in the first round and has had 3 full years to get prepared to move to the left side. His time is now...sometime your irresponsible 16-17 yr old kid has to take the keys to the car and you got to let 'em drive by themselves. So that leaves RT open, which isn't as pressing a need as LT, which IMO can be addressed with a 2nd or 3rd round pick, and not the 2nd overall pick.

    There's no guarantee that Crabtree will be able to consistently produce 'Texas vs. Texas Tech' moments in the pros. What's interesting about Tx. Tech is that they employ the spread offense, meaning that the QB, on most downs, lines up in the shotgun out of a no-huddle and as such has more time to get the ball down to his receivers before he is hit. Mike Leach's particular brand of the spread offense at Texas Tech is focuses heavily on pass plays. Obviously, Crabtree's production is going to be boosted by this type of play. It's also part of the reason why Graham Harrell can have the sort of season he did and be considered at best a mid-round prospect and also the reason why Alex Smith flopped as a starter coming out of Utah.
    He won't consistantely produce Tex vs Tex Tech moments...damn, I'll settle for Tex Tech vs Southern Methodist, Kansas State, Nebraska, Texas A&M, Kansas, and Oaklahoma State...you make it seem like Jamarcus Russel when his stock surged following the LSU vs Norte Dame Sugar Bowl game. Wes Welker also came from the same college don't forget, and yeah...there is a learning curve for WR's in the NFL...all the more reason to get what might be the best one now, because you aren't often in this situation. Graham Harrell had the season he did, because of who he had to throw to. Having a talented WR tends to do that for a QB...Culpepper kinda went downhill after Chris Carter and Randy Moss left town. Finally regarding Smith, he stuggled his first yr...hell even Payton Manning did...but in his 2nd yr he did improve a lot...but you also have to factor in that he's had what, 4 offensive coordinators, and keeps getting injured as well. Look at the whole picture, not just bits and pieces.

    As such, although Crabtree's production seems impressive, it is subject to the offensive scheme and not entirely a result of natural skill and dedication to the game.
    The thing that has always impressed me about Crabtree is not just his production....though it is impressive, but its the fact that he goes after the ball at the highest point, doesn't disappear in the red zone like so many other highly regarded WR's do, can be a downfield threat, how he works the sidelines getting his feet down, and how he is always fighting to break tackles to make the most of every catch.

    The Rams will not be able to employ a pass-heavy, Eagles-type West Coast Offense if Bulger has no protection. The more he drops back, the more likely he is to get hit, get hurt, and get the hell out of St. Louis.
    Get the hell out of St. Louis....don't tease me like that!!! So you're saying fix the line, and then suddenly Avery and Burton will start getting open and quit being inconsistant....sorry, but I'm not buying that. They need more help.

    There are no guarantees as to the immediate impact Michael Crabtree could have. He has to learn the system, he has to overcome a foot injury and history certainly isn't on his side. Whether Crabtree's production would even warrant a high position on the depth chart this season is contentious. To suggest he instantly becomes Bulger's #1 target is just silly.
    Uh...when you draft someone that high, yeah...they kind of shoot up the depth chart, espc. when you are thin and very young at the position. He doesn't have to be Bulger's #1 target though, this is a team game. But he can help take the pressure off of Jackson and Avery. Crabtree can be a bust, J. Smith can also be a bust as well as Monroe...that's the nature of the draft. Personally I'm more ok with the front office taking Crabtree and him being a bust, than "playing it safe" and having Smith and Monroe turn out to be busts. We drafted Barron in 05 in the first round, we haven't taken a WR in the first round since 99. Getting another tackle and at #2 overall when we have a chance to take the best skill player in the draft when we haven't done so in so long really really would be unsettling for me. Last yr I was fine with it (getting the top tackle in the draft Jack Long, but he was picked), as the WR class wasn't graded as high...but not this year. As I view it now, the pick really should be Crabtree or Curry.
    Last edited by LongBlood; -03-21-2009 at 05:03 PM.

  5. #20
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    Re: My case for Michael Crabtree...

    Louis Murphy from Florida. 6'3" and ran a 4.3's 40 yard dash. He's got speed and size, but he needs work on his route running. We could get him in the third round and have him be a #1 or #2 reciever.

  6. #21
    rams 24/7 is offline Registered User
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    Re: My case for Michael Crabtree...

    Most People Feel Crabtree will be a Bust.

  7. #22
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    Re: My case for Michael Crabtree...

    Quote Originally Posted by LongBlood View Post
    You can be "great" against a #2 corner or a nickle...but that doesn't mean you should automatically be atop the teams depth chart. The reason that he is, is very unsettling for me. Another thing to think about regarding Avery is if you take away just 3 of his catches (his longest ones, 43 yds, 42 yds, & 69 yds) he loses a staggering 22.8% of his yardage totals and is left with just one touchdown! Avery is too inconstant, in my book to be a top the depth chart atleast right now.
    Arguments like this are pithy and unrealistic. Avery's value lies in the fact that he can be a true home-run hitter. By the same logic, you could take away Jackson's three longest runs, Warner's TD passes, Faulk's receptions, Tony Banks' losing record... and make a similarly unsubstantial case. I'm not saying we don't need a receiver, period, I'm saying we don't specifically need that one that high, when we have other more pressing needs.

    Quote Originally Posted by LongBlood
    Grrrrr....I HATE arguments like this. Veteran Leadership? I want players that can play! Period, end of story. Go out there, and do you're freaking job. Spags has said he doesn't want a "quick" fix...and the truth of the matter is, that by drafting OL in the first round, that's exactly what you are doing!
    All 23 years old of Eugene Monroe is a quick fix? Seriously? Games are won and lost in the trenches, and by entrenching Monroe or Smith at Left Tackle for hopefully the best part of ten years, you're doing more than just applying a band-aid. You can't consistently win football games with a band-aid starter at Left Tackle.

    I think you can at receiver, provided you have a strong OL. Simply, what I'm trying to get at is that the production of your entire team, let alone a rookie WR, is dependent upon the performance of your line. The two are not interchangeable, meaning the formula does not work in reverse.

    Quote Originally Posted by LongBlood
    Lines do build championships...I've never discounted it, but given the fact that we lost the 2 stable parts of our WR corps in just two yrs and have no depth. We lost Pace, but now we can and should move Barron to the left side. And I know I'm going to take a ton of crap for this, but it needs to be said. Barron was picked in the first round and has had 3 full years to get prepared to move to the left side.
    Barron has done virtually nothing to suggest he's going to be anything more than a one-year starter at either tackle position, playing out the last season of his contract. Thereafter, you have no starting tackles. My concern is that if we don't address the line now, the problem that we have now snowballs. Then, if all goes to plan, as you suggest, we have two or three great WR's and no way to ensure they have the ball in their hands.

    I can't see how the difference between Crabtree and either of the Tackles is all that substantial in terms of value. I think, based on what we've seen the last few seasons, that we all know where the greater area of need is. I don't debate that Crabtree has the potential to be an outstanding receiver. If we draft him, however, without ensuring his future, we have done nothing more than wasted a pick. He'll be a great receiver, but his success will be largely circumstantial.

    We aren't in a position where we can truly afford the luxury of a receiver. If we could safely say that we're one, potentially two or three pieces away from playoff football, I'd have no problem. When you don't have anybody to block, when you don't have a Nose Tackle, when you don't have a Mike, a SAM or a second corner, I don't think you take that gamble.

    Quote Originally Posted by LongBlood
    He won't consistantely produce Tex vs Tex Tech moments...damn, I'll settle for Tex Tech vs Southern Methodist, Kansas State, Nebraska, Texas A&M, Kansas, and Oaklahoma State...you make it seem like Jamarcus Russel when his stock surged following the LSU vs Norte Dame Sugar Bowl game. Wes Welker also came from the same college don't forget, and yeah...there is a learning curve for WR's in the NFL...all the more reason to get what might be the best one now, because you aren't often in this situation. Graham Harrell had the season he did, because of who he had to throw to. Having a talented WR tends to do that for a QB...Culpepper kinda went downhill after Chris Carter and Randy Moss left town. Finally regarding Smith, he stuggled his first yr...hell even Payton Manning did...but in his 2nd yr he did improve a lot...but you also have to factor in that he's had what, 4 offensive coordinators, and keeps getting injured as well. Look at the whole picture, not just bits and pieces.
    I don't think the problem with Smith is that he's had 4 coordinators. It's that he's had four unsuccessful ones. He even got demoted the coordinator widely considered the QB guru in Mike Martz. It says a lot about the raw tools he possesses as a young Quarterback and I think his lack of success, his general inability to make the transition, has made a lot of teams more wary of players coming from spread offenses. It's why scouts and armchair pundits alike can and will frequently mention the phrases "Tim Tebow", "Heisman Trophy Lock" and "Late Round Draft Choice" in the same sentence.

    There's no denying that Crabtree's numbers were inflated by the system he played in. That's not to discount his ability, and for your sake I'll repeat that he's a very talented player. It's just that the system he's in exaggerated his skills to a point where it's clouding percpetion. All of the things you mentioned were highlighted because of the system he played in. When you see that much of the ball in the conference that you're playing in, you're going to get a chance to do display all of those natural abilities more frequently.
    Quote Originally Posted by LongBloood
    Get the hell out of St. Louis....don't tease me like that!!! So you're saying fix the line, and then suddenly Avery and Burton will start getting open and quit being inconsistant....sorry, but I'm not buying that. They need more help.
    I'm saying fix the line and everything gets better. Bulger has more time, Jackson has more holes and Avery and Burton will see more of the ball. If you don't fix the line, Bulger has no time, Jackson has no holes and it doesn't matter which receiver you selected at number two overall or how consistent they are, because they just won't see the ball.
    Quote Originally Posted by LongBlood
    Personally I'm more ok with the front office taking Crabtree and him being a bust, than "playing it safe" and having Smith and Monroe turn out to be busts. We drafted Barron in 05 in the first round, we haven't taken a WR in the first round since 99. Getting another tackle and at #2 overall when we have a chance to take the best skill player in the draft when we haven't done so in so long really really would be unsettling for me.
    Not selecting a certain player at Number 2 overall on the grounds of "we haven't drafted a WR in the first round since '99" is not only ridiculous and illogical, but it also defies the golden rule of football. Games are won and lost in the trenches. It's not as if we don't need "another" tackle. If we took Monroe and Eben Britton slipped to the second round I'd be damn tempted to take them both.

    We drafted Barron, who has done little to nothing. We took the first receiver in the draft last season. When we drafted Holt, we had a team virtually in place. More pertinently... we drafted Orlando Pace the previous season at number one overall. Food for thought?

  8. #23
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    Re: My case for Michael Crabtree...

    Great Post BBQ couldn't agree more gotta spread it around before I rep you again.

  9. #24
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    Re: My case for Michael Crabtree...

    Great points Bar-bq.




    People think that our tackle position is already addressed with the Barron pick in 2005. THAT IS INCORRECT. Just because we spent a pick on a tackle in the first round in 2005 doesn't mean we can't do it again this year, because Barron has not shown SQUAT over the past years, and if we are relying on him to man one of the tackle positions, then Bulger is going to have a real problem next year.

    Having a great offensive line and a decent-above average receiving corps is much better than having a great receiving corps and an above average o-line.


    Because of Alex Barron's lack of production is the reason why a tackle is highly needed on this team.

    Saying that our tackle positions are filled because we spent a first round pick on a tackle in 2005 and don't need another one is ludicrious, especially since the tackle happens to be Alex Barron.



    Another reason for picking o-line instead of Crabtree is because of the Jason Brown signing. Now that Brown is on our team, solidifying our center position, we should take the next step and fix our tackle positions so we have a solid o-line, not just a solid interior. It's time we actually fix the o-line completely, not putting it aside for next year, and the year after that, and after that.
    Last edited by RockinRam; -03-22-2009 at 11:12 PM.

  10. #25
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    Re: My case for Michael Crabtree...

    Quote Originally Posted by rams 24/7 View Post
    Most People Feel Crabtree will be a Bust.
    I'm interested to see who feels Michael Crabtree will be a bust. I really haven't seen any.

  11. #26
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    Re: My case for Michael Crabtree...

    Quote Originally Posted by shower beers View Post
    I'm interested to see who feels Michael Crabtree will be a bust. I really haven't seen any.
    I thought I wasn't alone on this, but if you haven't seen anybody else that thinks he will be a bust then I guess I am the only one.

  12. #27
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    Re: My case for Michael Crabtree...

    Well, If you taking Crabtree in the top 7 picks of the NFL draft and he isn't going to be one of the top 20 WR ins the NFL that is way too high to take a flier on him .

    First, you have to ask your self what would make Crabtree a bust ?

    Crabtree is a bust if he isn't a legit #1 WR in the NFL . That means 1200 yds. 8 tds (min.) and a healthy, weapon that can be count on game after game against elite talent in the NFL.

    I can't count on him with all his negatives:

    Negatives: Fragile, Speed, Size, Strength, Mid-Major School, Blocking


    Crabtree ='s Bust

  13. #28
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    Re: My case for Michael Crabtree...

    Quote Originally Posted by richtree View Post
    I can't count on him with all his negatives:

    Negatives: Fragile, Speed, Size, Strength, Mid-Major School, Blocking

    Crabtree ='s Bust
    Fragile, Strength, and going to knock him for coming from a mid-major, when he was recruited to play basketball originally!?! Anyone that has questions on his speed should look at him run away from defenders once he gets the ball in his hands. And also it should be remembered that he was playing with that foot being injured this season as well. Yeah his blocking can improve, but he's only played the WR position for 2 yrs, and is more physical than Holt, and he himself was a decent/capable blocker.

    What's all the fuss about?

    Michael Crabtree has been slowed by a busted foot. Big deal. He's still a top-10 pick.

    By Seth Wickersham
    ESPN The Magazine

    Just six weeks before the NFL draft, wideout prospect Michael Crabtree is preparing for the occasion by sittin' on 22s. Literally. He's got a wheelchair—a gift from his dad—that's been tricked out with red rims. He zips around his North Dallas apartment pretty well for someone who's just had surgery to repair a stress fracture near his left pinkie toe. And his training doesn't end in his chair.

    Each morning, Crabtree wakes up at 11:30, then sits in bed, simultaneously watching movies on his flat-screen and Young Jeezy videos on his laptop. At around 2 p.m. he makes a move, but he can't shower, not with his foot in a cast. So the 6'1", 215-pound former Texas Tech receiver climbs into the tub—his first baths since grade school—bum foot hanging over the edge. At 3 he leaves his place for the first time, impressively fleet on a set of crutches, for lunch at Pappadeaux. The menu: fried shrimp and mashed potatoes, with two lemonades—one with freshly squeezed straw-berries, the other with uncut berries floating in the drink like ice. Then it's back home for more movies and videos. At 10 Crabtree orders a pepperoni thick-crust from Pizza Hut, the empty box joining nine others stacked like a Jenga game on his kitchen counter. "That's my regimen," he says.
    That's right. No sprinting 40s, no lifting 225 pounds, no slaloming around cones. None of the jumping through hoops that passes for talent evaluation during draft workouts. GMs have only two ways to size up Crabtree—talking to him and watching his film. And they've concluded that he's a top-10 pick, broken foot and all.
    Imagine that. A good football player in November is still considered a good football player in April.


    Such logic is strangely scarce during this silly season, when a college star's NFL potential is sometimes based on anything but his ability to play the game. A running back who spent four years street-cleaning linebackers is a little slow running around cones, and suddenly he lacks explosion. A major conference receiver who turned double-teams into rumors each autumn runs a 4.58 40, and his speed is red-flagged. For years we've been told by experts that these tests accurately predict NFL success. They don't, of course, at least not in any practical way. Remember Mike Mamula? "What's it really matter if a player runs a fast 40 or not?" asks one NFC GM. "Not much."
    Here's the draft bubble's dirty little secret: The buzz generated from these drills and how it affects a player's status is actually based on ego—usually a coach's—not results. The combine is typically the first time coaches see prospects, on film or otherwise. Until then, they've only glanced at their team's draft boards, which are compiled by scouts. But many coaches secretly believe that scouts don't know how to find the right players for their system, while scouts think coaches can't evaluate talent. That friction, especially on teams that routinely change staffs and schemes, can cause a coach who's just witnessed a combine or pro day workout to declare that Player X is ranked too low or too high, just to prove a point. Says one AFC personnel boss: "It can ruin a draft."
    In fact, most GMs will tell you they care more about the effort a player puts into these arbitrary drills than the scores. They rarely even record a player's results. Instead, they observe how a potential draftee interacts with his teammates, whether he's first in line for drills and how he reacts to pro coaching. In the end, a pro day is a forum for judging character disguised as a test of athleticism. "When we really want to know what kind of football player someone is," says Packers GM Ted Thompson, "we go back to the tape."
    That's why—crazy as it sounds—it doesn't matter that the 2009 draft's top-rated receiver is wearing a cast. Not that Crabtree enjoys being laid up. He'd rather run. He even does crunches and push-ups during commercial breaks while watching TV. But his tests weren't going to improve his stock. The two-time Biletnikoff winner scored 41 touchdowns in 26 career games, and runs, at best, a 4.50 40—slower than the draft's other top wideouts, Missouri's Jeremy Maclin (4.45) and Florida's Percy Harvin (4.39). Hoping to notch a 4.4, Crabtree trained in February at a speed center—the football equivalent of an SAT prep course—operated by former Olympic sprinter Michael Johnson. He'd become obsessed with running faster, even though he knew better. "A 40 doesn't show much, except maybe that you can get off the line fast," Crabtree says. "But people said I was slow, so I was eager to prove I wasn't."
    A routine bone scan at the combine, which revealed the fracture, killed that plan. Crabtree hadn't even realized his foot was broken; he thought it was merely sore after a long season.
    In fact, stress fractures are a common foot injury—famously suffered by Jevon Kearse and Yao Ming—and relatively easy to get over, provided the athlete stays off his foot until it heals. Crabtree has done just that since his March 4 surgery, when a screw was inserted into his fifth metatarsal. A recovery time of eight to 10 weeks will have him healed well ahead of training camp.
    That Crabtree hasn't slipped on most draft boards is a testament both to the nature of his injury and to his complete dominance in college. No other receiver shed as many double-teams and caught the ball as cleanly (231 receptions in two years). No other top pass-catching prospect is as big—GMs describe Crabtree as "thick"—and no other is as good at using his body to shield cornerbacks. Says his ex-coach, Mike Leach: "The way he can turn and put his ass on a defender really is remarkable."
    As is the way he seems to have won over some NFL brass. At the combine, 16 clubs asked Crabtree about everything from dissecting defenses ("Easy," he says) to how many times a week he hits the clubs ("Maybe once"). "He's a good kid," says an NFC GM. "You can tell because his teammates loved him." And Crabtree loved them. Not because they nicknamed him Supa, but because they gave him a hard time for how he mumbled, chewed on Gatorade caps and draped himself over their shoulders like an overcoat when they shared a laugh.
    But neither conversations nor tests could reveal Crabtree's most innate plus, his balance. Scouts don't measure it. They don't stand prospects on a Wii Fit and calculate which leg is dominant. But it's the most underrated aspect of a receiver's game, the reason why some break tackles and tiptoe the sideline while others don't. Crabtree learned how to keep his feet as a 4-year-old in Dallas, when he and his older brother, Keiron Stevenson, backflipped off cars, over bikes and up and down the street. "My choice was to land on my feet or on my head," he says.
    To truly appreciate Crabtree's balance, scouts need only ask themselves questions and watch his film for answers. How do his shoulders look when he runs? One GM says they're always over his feet, never bobbing up and down. How does he handle contact? Very well: He broke 298 tackles last year on 97 catches. Does he stumble out of breaks? No. That's a skill honed by Leach, who would soak the practice field in Lubbock and make Crabtree cut on it. Can he adjust as he's running? Yes. One of Texas Tech's bread-and-butter plays was the tunnel screen, in which Crabtree caught a quick pass and ran along the line of scrimmage, waiting for an opening. "He's so fluid as he searches for a crease," says one AFC personnel director. "He's like a point guard." That's no coincidence. Crabtree played point so well at Carter High that Bob Knight offered him a scholarship. "He's the best receiver," says another NFC GM, "if not the best athlete."
    That explains why, as he leaves lunch at Pappadeaux, Crabtree darts away on his crutches, easily gliding down wooden steps made slippery by rain, quietly whipping through the parking lot without the typical clang of metal, as if he were racing someone. In two weeks, he'll shed his cast, crutches and rimmed wheelchair for a walking boot. Two weeks after that, he'll go through rehab, probably doing pool exercises and running on an underwater treadmill. Right now, though, this first-rounder doesn't mind hobbling around a bit. As he reaches his borrowed black F-150, a little winded but smiling, he says confidently, "I could probably run a 4.4 with crutches."
    Wouldn't matter anyway.

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