Thursday, 8 January 2009

Crabtree, Wells, Maclin to declare

Matt Bowen from the National Football Post is reporting that Michael Crabtree, Chris Wells and Jeremy Maclin will declare 'in the very near future'. Earlier this week, it was reported that Crabtree would declare and that running back Wells was seriously considering it. It's unsurprising that Maclin (wide receiver, Missouri) has followed Crabtree's lead in what is turning into an increasingly strong class of wide receivers. He's listed at 6'0" and should run a lightning fast time at the combine.

Also in the article by Bowen, he consults draft expert Wes Bunting on where the prospects could end up. Bunting says Crabtree is 'the safest pick in this years draft' and that the Seattle Seahawks 'look like a natural fit' for Crabtree in the west coast offense.

: Wells confirms and Maclin to reveal his intentions tomorrow. Crabtree's cousin says it's '50-50'.


Anonymous said...

Rob, If we do not trade down and pick at number 4, do you think the chances we go after crabtree have gone down or up with the selection of our new OC?

Thanks, Big Joe

Rob Staton said...

I can't give a definitive answer on this, but I don't see why they would have decreased. When Mora and Knapp were in Atlanta they drafted both Roddy White and Michael Jenkins in the first round. I have to believe that part of this was an attempt to improve Michael Vick's arsenal to turn him into a better passer like the Falcons so craved.

What I will say though, is that Knapp likes to have a succesful running game. This will only be possible for Seattle if teams fear the teams passing game. This was evidently not the case in 2008, with opposition teams often stacking the box and 'daring' the 'Hawks to pass. A big target like Crabtree would not only improve the receiver position, he will force teams to cover him, sometimes double cover him - opening things up for other receivers and most importantly, the running game.

There are other ways to improve the running game though. I also believe this will be a deep draft for receivers, so if Seattle would rather address the position later a dominant run blocking offensive linemen like Andre Smith is an option. He would have to play guard or right tackle though, I do not rate him as a LT in the NFL. A wild card option could even be to take a running back, but I think that would be a big reach at pick four, even if I rate Knowshon Moreno very highly.

To conclude, I think that Crabtree will be strongly considered by the Seahawks. He is a very talented prospect at a position of need. As Wes Bunting claims in the article I linked to, he is arguably the safest pick in the draft (no mean feat considering his position). He is a perfect WCO receiver which also helps and has the character Tim Ruskell looks for. If he isn't picked by the 'Hawks, I have to believe it's because he's already off the board or the fact the Seattle war room has simply found another prospect who is too good to pass on.