Friday, 2 January 2009

Ole Miss, Oher pound Texas Tech, Crabtree

Ole Miss comprehensively defeated Texas Tech in the Cotton Bowl today 47-34. The game was particularly interesting from a Seahawks perspective with two potential first round picks competing on opposite teams.

Michael Oher, offensive tackle for Ole Miss, put in an impressive display at left tackle. Despite an early false start call, Oher was dominant in pass protection and did enough to suggest his run blocking is not the problem some pundits have claimed. If the big tackle wanted to head into the draft leaving a positive impression on scouts he certainly did that today. He heads into the combine likely ranked as the best tackle on the board. Oher has appeared in a number of recent mocks going to the Seahawks with the fourth overall pick.

Michael Crabtree is another prospect who many are predicting will be on Seattle's radar. The two time winner of the Biletnikoff award has had a fine year and is almost certain to declare for the 2009 draft as a red shirt freshman. However, this wasn't a day to remember for the All American receiver. Texas Tech were not at their best as soon as they conceded the lead late in the first half and Crabtree was visibly not at 100% after picking up an ankle injury recently. He still managed to score a touchdown and snare four catches for 30 yards, but these aren't the monster stats we've come to expect from such a talented play maker. He did show an ability to get amongst the points even when not at full capability, but he hasn't finished on a high in the same way Michael Oher did.


Brandon said...

oher was a man among boys.
i just started my blog this week and im still working on my draft.
let me know what you think
and i dont know how to make links, so here is the url

great site by the way

Rob Staton said...

Hi Brandon nice to hear from you. It's always good to get visitors who are fans of other teams. What are your thoughts on the Jaguars heading into the draft?

I'll keep an eye on your blog.

Mind of no mind said...

I didn't watch the game, but someone said on the SA boards that Crabtree had a drop and fell down on a play and the ball intended for him was picked off and ran back for a TD.

Hard to know for sure if it's to be trusted since the guy didn't seem to care for Crabtree to begin with so might have judged him harshly.

Rob Staton said...

I watched the game and it wasn't the greatest example of Crabtree's talents. He was visibly troubled by his injury, often limping to the sidelines after plays. You can look at that two ways - either that this injury is a concern or he showed the toughness to get out there and make some plays in a big game.

The only drop I recall was a tough low catch that he had to dive to grab. He did fall down on one play, tripping in his route which left the corner back free to pick off a Harrell pass and run for an easy TD.

To look at the positives, despite him clearly not being 100% he still looked explosive off the line. He frequently flew passed his marker and on more than one occassion a poor pass from Harrell stopped him making a big play. The stat sheet (4 catches, 30 yards, 1TD) isn't the monster line we've come to expect, but in a PPR fantasy league he would still have earned you 13 points... not bad for an 'off day'.

I don't think the display did enough to seriously damage his draft stock. However, this injury needs to be monitered as an anle issue can be a red flag.

jjhsix said...

I agree Rob. I think Harrell's poor passing was a huge factor in Crabtree's poor production. How many times did Harrell overthrow him on a sideline route? But Oher sure did look dominant I thought.

JK said...

I was looking forward to watching both of these guys, too. From the Crabtree highlight package you see a lot of short flares and screens where he gets the ball in his hands quickly and then tears downfield. Tech didn't do any of that stuff early in the game, instead calling the same deep route over and over where he runs down the sidelines and then Harrell launches the ball out of bounds.

I agree with your assessment, though: he's clearly a great receiver, and it's obvious even when he's not 100%. I remember one comeback route on the right sideline where he did a nice job coming back and extending his arms to get to the ball. He just looks like a natural when the ball is coming his way.

On the other side, Mike Wallace made a few nice plays at receiver. I don't know if he's a mid- or late-round pick or what, but he had a good game.

Michael Oher dominated on a few plays, but again you can just tell he's on another level athletically. Good footwork in pass protection and you could see that rushers were doing everything they could to avoid coming right at him. As soon as he gets his arms on you, you stop moving. I try not to focus too much on physical appearance, but you can't help but notice that he doesn't look like most O-linemen. It's like somebody took a linebacker and viewed him at 125% zoom. Freakish.

Brandon said...

JK i like your desciption on Oher.

Rob, thanks for the eye

the jaguars this season will have a lot of holes to fill. Their pass defense can make Trent Edwards look like Tom Brady. Our middle linebacker will not be with the team next year. they have one great corner, they have a fs who is constantly out of place in reggie nelson (1st rd 2 yrs ago). They brought in Drayton Florence from san diego last year to play corner. he got benched he was so bad. so we moved our ss back to corner where he is equally good. Our d-lineman our old and john henderson is not that great anymore. but we wound up with about the same results as when marcus stroud was here (traded last year to buffalo) and people say he is why we cant stop the run. But both of the DT are over 32 i believe and one of them should be a career backup. The DE are coming along enough to not need to get one in the first or second unless value is amazing.
No rb needed. Some people must not know fred taylor is coming back, plus mjd-nor rb needed. FB is in great shape. Guards are good on the line but they were both injured this year. LOT Khalif Bharnes allowed 7.5 sacks last year. He is a former 2nd rounder, wants out and i would like him to leave, although we have now depth at OT. The center can be good. If a great center is available 3rd round. i say there is an outside shot of drafting him. More likely next year though.
the worst corps in the league, led the league in drops this year. They drop everything, its awful! So many times i see Garrard put it on the money and they drop it. Matt Jones is coming along as a possesion receiver so thats why i have them skipping crabtree and going defense.

sign a burner receiver like devery henderson.
move brian williams ss to corner, and draft Taylor Mays, or leave him at ss and draft Malcolm Jenkins.
Sign a DT. I saw Rocky Bernard was available and he is rated high. Could you tell me more about him and if yall will keep him.
They also need to franchise Khalif Barnes at LOT to atleast have depth if they draft another guy. Depth and competition nearly always delivers results, especially when he was on a line that had two 900 yard rushers two years ago.

Sorry for how long this is, please let me know all seahawk ideas you got, i want to be informed.
i have the 'hawks drafting Chris Wells, whats your opinion?

Oh and about taylor mays, im about to youtube him, but i havent seen him play, have you?

and about jags mlb, thats the least worried of the situation because they did have depth there.

Mind of no mind said...

As far as Rocky goes, most Hawk fans predict he'll be allowed to walk for two reasons.

1)Our current GM Ruskell is really big on "character guys" and last year Rocky got in trouble for smacking his girlfriend around.

2)He didn't have a very impressive season considering he was in a contract year, so there is not much reason for Ruskell to overlook reason 1.

Brandon said...

i cant say it would excite me to get a guy that smacked his girl around.

Rob Staton said...

Hi Brandon, don't worry about the length of reply it's great to get a really detailed review on a different team. Things like that certainly help me a lot when it comes to doing things like mock drafts and analysis.

Regarding the Seahawks, there are a few obvious needs in the team and some areas that could become huge needs. The obvious ones at the moment are a definite need of a playmaker on offense, which has very little identity at the moment. Whether it be a receiver like Michael Crabtree or a runner like Beanie Wells or Knowshon Moreno, the team could use a franchise player to get behind.

Defensively, they could use a playmaker on the defensive line. The secondary has also been a point of contention. Safety could do with an upgrade.

The areas that could become needs are at QB and OT. There have been rumours that Matt Hasselbeck's back problems could be more serious that first thought. At 34 years of age and due to earn 9.5M next year, he could be cut if the medical reports are not good. QB would then become an option with Seneca Wallace also in the frame to start.

Walter Jones has just had micro surgery on his knee and is also getting on in age. If he retired or the team wanted a long term replacement at Left Tackle that becomes a big option.

Some of these issues will get solved in free agency, the GM Tim Ruskell has been very aggressive in upgrading positions of need in the past.

Regarding the selection of Beanie Wells in your mock draft, looking at the board I think the Hawks would be more likely to select Michael Crabtree or Andre Smith in that position. But here's something to consider. If Seattle appoint Greg Knapp to be offensive co-ordinator as speculated a lot, they will very likely establish a more focused run attack. In that case, what better way than to start that era with a new franchise runner? If Seattle fill other holes in free agency, I don't think taking a RB can be completely ruled out in the first round. Wells and Moreno are the top two guys at that position.

Keep visiting the blog Brandon, I hope we hear from you often.

Anonymous said...

There is a very real chance that the Hawks could get Jordan Gross to play Tackle. The Seahawks were very interested in him last offseason until the Panthers franchised him. This offseason, the Panthers plan to franchise Julius Peppers, so Jordan should be a Free Agent.

Brandon said...

I will continue to visit, its rare for me to have a good conversation regarding the nfl.

LT sounds like a major issue for the 'hawks. I hear that smith has bad footwork, but i have not seen this. Maybe a quarterback would benefit in the 2nd rd, supposing the junior class comes out.

Good luck on the season that is the offseason.

Brandon said...

Now if the 'hawks got Gross, along with someone besides jones to run the ball, then yeah crabtree for sure. Are they interested in any free agent hb's?

Anonymous said...

I don't know that there is a good option at HB in this free agent class. They may have to use a pick on a HB maybe in the 3rd.

Rob Staton said...

A flier on a guy like Donald Brown in the third could be an option, he announced his intentions to declare today as reported on the blog (see article above).