Monday, 5 January 2009

Michael Crabtree to declare for draft

The National Football Post is reporting that Michael Crabtree will declare for the 2009 NFL draft. There had been some confusion regarding the Texas Tech receivers intentions. Mixed signals in a couple of interviews had Crabtree both staying with the Red Raiders and heading for the NFL.

The article claims that an on-campus press conference will be scheduled this week where Crabtree will confirm his decision. It's not surprising that the nation's leading receiver is turning pro. After winning back to back Biletnikoff's and as a two-time All-American he has little personal achievement to gain by returning to the college ranks. Texas Tech are unlikely to match 2008's achievements this year with Graham Harrell moving on.

10 comments:

Michael Steffes said...

Hey Rob,

I know this is off topic, but you are doing a kick ass job with this blog. I have been checking it often. Thought you might like to know.

Kurt said...

Rob,

I read today that Hakeem Nicks from UNC will declare for draft. Do you know where he's projected and what the chances the are that the Hawks could pass on Crabtree in the first and take Nicks in the second?

A first two picks of Oher/Smith and Nicks sounds pretty good to me. That would shore up two areas of need for the Hawks.

Michael said...

Kurt,

I am inline with your thinking as well. Kenny Britt (aka, a poor mans Crabtree) is out there as well, and may be faster, and has been a huge playmaker.

That said, if Crabtree is considered elite, pull the trigger:

Dream #1
Oher/Britt

Dream #2
Crabtree/Britton

Most likely reality:
Monroe/Harvey

Rob Staton said...

Mike!

It is great to hear from you and the positive comments you've posted are truly appreciated. I hope you are well and had a great Christmas and New Year.

Kurt, I believe Nicks is currently holding a 2nd/3rd round rating. Like Crabtree he isn't a burner but is a good route runner and has good hands. He's done a lot to propel his stock down the stretch. Now that he has declared I will try to give you a more detailed analysis when I have consulted others who are more qualified to pass comment than me. To answer your question on whether the Seahawks pass on Crabtree, I believe other prospects later on will have little influence on their desicion. Essentially, the 'Hawks will or will not draft Crabtree based on a.) whether he's there at pick number 4 and b.) whether he's top of their draft board when they come to select. If they simply don't believe Crabtree is as good as a lot of people are suggesting, they won't select him. If he is, then I don't think there will be much debate when the Hawks are on the clock.

I think there are a lot of unanswered questions when it comes to the Seahawks and their draft direction. Can Walter Jones return? If not, offensive tackle becomes an immediate need in free agency or the draft. Is Matt Hasselbeck's back ok? If not, do the Hawks take a QB or do they hand over the reigns to Seneca Wallace? Will the new regime led by coach Mora wish to draft defensively? It will certainly be an interesting three-four months for the Hawks.

meekal said...

Hey Rob,

I saw the first post and I too, want to thank you for doing a wonderful job with this site. I check this blog a few times a day to look for your updates. I also like how you respond to reader's questions as well. Well thanks again and keep up the good work!

Kurt said...

That's interesting, Rob. What you said does seem to jive with what the Seahawks (and especially Ruskell) have always said going into a draft: that they're going to take the best player available, regardless of position, with each pick. But if you ask me, it always looks like they draft to their needs in the Ruskell era. Carlson, Red Bryant, Jennings and Wilson were all need picks. There's probably more, those are just the ones off of the top of my head.

I guess my point is that it seems like the Seahawks do go into draft day with a strategy, regardless of what they say, and that it's entirely possible they might revise their first round strategy based on who they think might be available with their next pick.

Rob Staton said...

Meekal, thankyou for your generous comments. It's always great to hear from people who regularly read the blog, and I hope you continue to enjoy the web site.

Kurt, I think there's always a blend of BPA and need. For example, I'd be suprised if the team took a middle linebacker with their first round pick having invested so much in Lofa Tatupu, even if a MLB was clearly the BPA. I think the team will have a strategy, they will have a draft board that will be broken down into different categories and scenarios. There will be people they expect to be around in the 2nd round, people who they like who could drop into that round etc etc. Essentially though, I doubt that any desicion on who take with the fourth pick will be influenced by who they think they might/could get in round two. If they think receiver is a big need, and they rate Crabtree at the top of their draft board - they will likely take him. At the same time, if there is another need that can be filled by another prospect who is above Crabtree on that draft board, they could pass on him to take someone else.

Anonymous said...

This is going to be highly debated for the next 4 months, but my opinion is that if the Hawks keep drafting 6' tall guys with marginal speed and route running skills, they are continually going to be loaded with #3 receivers. What people need to understand is that a majority of first round busts, in regards to WR, is that many of these player's games were based around being physically superior to the DBs they constantly faced. Crabtree has the physical tools, but is such a success because of route running, hands, knowledge, and passion. Not to mention, his coaching staff raves about the fact that he is a hard worker and perhaps the smartest player to come through Tech since Wes Welker. Even if he doesn't turn out to be the next Larry Fitzgerald, I think he will be a very good NFL receiver. There is a reason that nobody has anything bad to say about this guy and the only negatives surrounding his draft status is due to past failures. On a side note, it's refreshing to see an extremely successful WR not being a team cancer/prima donna.

Rob Staton said...

Some excellent points there annonymous. I agree completely with your assesment of the 'negatives' surrounding Crabtree being based on a concept of not drafting receivers early. Crabtree has the leadership and character skills Tim Ruskell looks for in prospects, but is also extremely talented. As you say, his hands and route running are excellent. I would say he is the perfect west coast offense receiver and with Greg Knapp confirmed as OC for 2009 I think he would be an excellent addition. He doesn't have the same risks involved with past failures at the position and I would argue is as safe a pick as you will find in this year's class.

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