"If (WR) Michael Crabtree was available to us late in the first round, I’d pass on him. I’m not saying that he won’t be good, but I’m not sold on his work ethic, and coming from the offense he did, he’s going to have to work at it to make the adjustment."
This seems a little exaggerated, the quote claims Crabtree wouldn't be worth the risk in the late first round. However, when I spoke to Rob Rang about the Seahawks draft plans, he also had some concerns:
"I have some reservations about Crabtree's character and if I have some reservations, Ruskell likely does too." - Rob Rang
So what are we to read from this? Over recent weeks Crabtree has flown underneath the radar. He's been unable to work out for teams due to recovery from surgery and it seems he's been keeping his head down. Whilst we've had the glamour of the USC pro-day, the debate about who will go first overall - we've barely heard anything from the Crabtree camp. Well, aside from the possible character concerns.
The thing is, nobody is coming out to be specific as to what the concerns are. The PFW report talks about a lack of work rate, but this conflicts with other reports that suggest Crabtree is a team player with a determined attitude. He didn't coast to two Biletnikoff awards. When I contacted John McClain from the Houston Chronicle, he argued to the contrary about any work rate issues:
"Every scout and coach I talk to loves the guy because of how hard he plays. He lacks great speed but makes up for it with his size, attitude and his get-the-ball-at-all-costs ability. He's a little immature at times, probably like we were at that age, but people who know him, play with him and are around him like and respect him." - John McClain
CBS Sportsline's Clark Judge also spoke to a scout about the Texas Tech receiver:
"'Michael Crabtree,' said one pro scout, 'is a big, strong guy who can play. Plus, he's a good kid. He's had a lot of exposure in a passing offense, and he's a strong-handed guy who plays as fast as he times. He's not going to run away from you, but he has exceptional quickness. He's a big-time player who will make a good pro.'
Notice there wasn't anything in there about Crabtree as a risk. 'So then buyers shouldn't beware?' I asked.
'Absolutely not,' he said." - Clark Judge
So what are we to believe? We're hearing contrasting reports from different sources. Could this be a smoke and mirrors attempt to lower Crabtree's stock two weeks before the draft? Or are their legitimate concerns about the receivers work rate, character or anything else? Either way, as Clark Judge admits,
"If you're going to pass on Crabtree it better be for a good reason."
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