Saturday, 21 February 2009

Seahawks meeting Crabtree tonight

The Seattle Seahawks are meeting with Michael Crabtree tonight after a day of constant analysis regarding his fractured metatarsal. News of this latest injury and a surprisingly short height measurement (just over 6'1") have led to some predicting he could be in for a fall on draft day. To the Seahawks, tonight's interview will likely have more effect on where they rank Crabtree on their big board.

The injury itself is minor - it's just happened at a time when the world's focus is on deciding whose stock is going up or down. Jason Smith (OT, Baylor) suffered a right MCL sprain in 2007 which slowed him for most of the season. He's getting rave reviews at the moment, but how many careers have been ended by metatarsal fractures and how many due to knee injuries?

The height issue will stop some of the (arguably) unfair comparisons to Larry Fitzgerald. But as Jim Mora points out:

"Well, he was, what was he 6-01.3, but his arms were 34.5 and I believe he had the longest arms of the receivers other than the kid from Cal Poly. So I think that makes up for it a little bit. I wouldn't call 6-1 and a half too short. He's about 214, long arms. Hands I think were 10. That's a pretty good-sized kid." - Jim Mora

When you have that kind of reach, what's a couple of inches in height?

Whether Seattle has Crabtree near the top of their wish list could very easily come down to meeting's like tonight's interview. The double Biletnikoff award winner has the production, he's shown what he's capable of in a game situation. The injury isn't a serious one. The only thing holding him back could be the all important 'character test'.

"He's had tremendous production in college, but I don't know him personally and that's a part of the puzzle. Getting to know him and finding out what makes him tick." - Jim Mora

It's been a long day for Michael Crabtree. Rest assured the Seahawks front office won't be giving him an easy ride. How he performs away from his entourage in a pressure situation will be the real test to see if Crabtree is a logical option on draft day.

3 comments:

Aaron Weinberg said...

Rob,

Back in action!

So what are your initial thoughts on Crabtree after the smoke has settled a little? Still no. 4 on your mock?

Rob Staton said...

Hey Aaron,

I think the situation has been a little over hyped. It's the combine and Crabtree is probably the most high profile prospect, so it's big news.

Essentially what will determine whether Crabtree is a Seahawks target will be his interviews with the team. They know about his production, they will have seen plenty of game tape on him. They don't need to see him do a bench press or a 40 yard dash. They'll rightly get the injury checked out but the metatarsal is not a serious injury. It's the kind of thing he could play on with no discomfort through a playoff series.

But the team are big on character. I have to admit to being a little under whelmed by the way Crabtree is conducting himself. At Texas Tech he always seemed bright and energetic in interviews. At the combine, and this may be down to the pressure involved, he seems distant and almost always accompanied by a member of his entourage. It's not a good look if he wants to play in Seattle.

But at the end of the day the team have talked about getting an 'impact' player. They very much need a play maker on offense or defense. The draft lacks the elite defensive linemen the team would probably like. You look at the offense and the team lacks an identity. It has two ageing stars - Matt Hasselbeck and Walter Jones. Do you spend an expensive pick on someone just to replace them? That's not an impact and it's a lot of money to have someone sit on the sidelines.

So by process of elimination, the team really has to consider Crabtree because he fills a need (wide out, play maker) and has top five talent. He needs to interview well to guarantee he's in their thoughts.

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