Friday, 23 January 2009

Keyshawn tells Hawks, "draft Crabtree"

Gary Washburn at the Seattle P.I. reports on a conversation between two former All-pro receivers, Keyshawn Johnson and Chris Carter. The discussion turned towards the Seahawks and Johnson had some words of advice for GM Tim Ruskell - draft Michael Crabtree.

"With this kid, I think there's only great potential and upside. You are not looking at a Dwayne Jarrett and Mike Williams. You're looking at a guy who is going to make the transition pretty smoothly to the National Football League." --- Keyshawn Johnson

Carter held a slightly different opinion and suggested an offensive tackle would be his preferred choice that early in the draft. He did admit however that the Seahawks need someone, "who can catch the ball and do something with it." Johnson was adamant that selecting Crabtree so early in the first round would not be the risk some people think.

"You have to know the person. If the kid likes football and you know him as a football player and as a person, then you can pretty much tell whether or not he's going to be successful. Larry Fitzgerald's successful because Larry Fitzgerald likes football. Mike Williams didn't like football. He was just glad to be in the NFL.

"Charles Rogers, he didn't like football, he liked hanging out. Crabtree likes football and that's why he was able to succeed for those two straight years at Texas Tech when the world knew he was getting the football.

"If they could find a guy who has the size and the speed like Crabtree, then I don't think you would be making a mistake taking him that high." --- Keyshawn Johnson


Chris (Seattle) said...

Rob, Is it just me or does everyone seem to bring up the reason to not take Crabtree is "drafting a WR this high is too risky." Yet everyone universally agrees that the draft is not an exact science (which it isn't) Top 5 picks have busts every year from every position. Offensive lineman aren't always slam dunks (Robert Gallery, Tony Mandarich to name a couple), even QBs are just as risky in my opinion (Leaf, Rick Meier, Alex Smith, etc). I just think you can't take history into account because drafts are different every single year and the situations vary from every team. Just because the Lions made some awful picks at WR doesn't mean we will. Maybe those players would have done better on another team in another situation.

I guess my point is that no pick is certain, no position is more likely to succeed than another, so why are people trying to use "using high picks on WR's is too risky" as a reason not to take Crabtree? So because other teams (mainly the lions) have incorrectly evaluated WRs in the draft in recent years, we shouldn't draft Crabtree? Even if almost everyone thinks he could be as good as Larry Fitzgerald? People (Cris Carter for example) say things like "you can find WRs later in the draft" (citing Steve Smith, Housh, Chad Johnson, Largent, even Rice wasn't taking in the top 10), but if someone had taken them in the top 5 and they became the players they are now, everyone would have praised the team for drafting them! If you think he's the best player (as most scouts and evaluators do), why should a team have to wait to pick him so it's not as much of a "risk." Help me out here Rob.

(sorry for long post, just tired of hearing this argument)

Bruce M. said...

It depends on whether, statistically, top 5 WR do indeed bust more often than other position players. If they don't, then I agree.

Rob Staton said...

Chris, don't worry about the long post. Everything you have said I completely agree with.

It seems that some people are concentrating on a 'concept'. A cliche that 'tackles are good at the top of the first' or that 'receivers can be found later on'. The draft is never as black or white as that. There are many shades of grey. Every year is different, in 2008 you see highly rated defensive linemen like Chris Long and Glenn Dorsey going in the top five. This year - we may not see one defensive prospect go in the first five picks. You have to look at the draft from a talent perspective and not concentrate on ideologies or what happened in a previous year. If Crabtree is good enough then the fact he is a wide receiver is a none issue. Whether you take him or not is nothing to do with position it's all about how high he is on your draft board. I've read a lot of comments by pundits and fans alike saying 'don't take Crabtree the Seahawks need a left tackle' but those opinions are rarely based on a calculated observation on how talented the left tackles or Michael Crabtree really are.

There will always be busts at every position. I don't believe wide receiver is any more or less likely to produce a bust. In the last six years, Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Johnson, Braylon Edwards and Charles Rogers have gone in the top five. From that list, the only one who is a bust is Rogers and he was a Matt Millen pick for the Lions. Andre Johnson and Fitzgerald are amongst the most talented players at any position in the NFL and Calvin Johnson appears destined to follow suit. Braylon Edwards had a spectacular 2007 but like the Browns franchise in general, collapsed in 2008.