Tag Archives: Michael Crabtree

The Most Coveted Prospect

An Article By: Curtis Rukavina

tysonjackson1

With the draft a few days away, names such as Matthew Stafford, Michael Crabtree, Mark Sanchez and Aaron Curry are all considered the elite prospects in this draft. Yet there is an under-the-radar prospect who may be more sought after than any of those listed above. His name is Tyson Jackson and he is the most versatile player on the defensive line in this year’s draft. Jackson has the ability to play defensive end in the 3-4 alignment, as well as defensive end and nose tackle in the 4-3 alignment.

There have been many teams recently who have abandoned the 4-3 defense and introduced the 3-4 hybrid defense. This requires substantial change, as far as personnel is concerned. 4-3 defensive ends project toward the linebacker position in the 3-4, and defensive tackles in a 4-3 may not have a home at all in the 3-4 defense. Tyson Jackson benefits from being the top-rated defensive end prospect, bringing adaptability to both schemes.  It also helps that there are five teams in the top 10 picks that are in need of his services.

Kansas City recently overhauled their entire coaching staff and front office and made the switch from the 4-3 to 3-4. They simply don’t have all the personnel that is necessary to run the 3-4 defense and will look to address this through the draft. Scott Pioli played a large role in deciding who the Patriots would select in years past– and rarely failed. The Chiefs have been linked to Tyson Jackson and that is the highest I see him going.

Cleveland, Green Bay and San Francisco are all very likely destinations for Jackson if Kansas City chooses not to select him. Each of those teams have huge holes at the 3-4 defensive end position and would immediately benefit with Jackson on their roster . Jacksonville is a possibility based on their history of selecting big lineman whether to play defensive tackle or end in their 4-3.

I do not think he slips past the Broncos at the 12th pick, as they would have a steal if he fell to them. Tyson Jackson has all the intangibles and triangle numbers that make him a top prospect. It will show with his draft position on Saturday.

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Filed under Defensive Line, Player Analysis

Thirty-two For Thirty-two

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The time has come for NFL Draft Headquarters to release our first Mock Draft of the year. We’ve given hints over the past two months as to who we think will go where, but now we’ve set it in stone.  To access the Mock Draft, simply click on the tab above, labeled “HQ Mock Draft”.

We encourage you to contest each and every pick to the fullest of your ability; however, be warned that we will launch a full-out rebuttal that hasn’t been seen since the televised Obama-McCain debates.

We’ve thought out the selections thoroughly, but hey, if your football ingenuity sees a pick that makes more sense, post it as a comment with your reasoning. If we like your selection, you will be given credit in our revised version of the Mock Draft, set to drop in about two weeks.

Quite frankly, we believe we’re going 32 for 32 come draft day (A.k.a. batting a thousand).

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Filed under Mock Draft

No Logging Permitted

How imperfect is the human memory? Why are we so consumed with the present,  so much so that we ignore the very proof that is permanently ingrained in history.

In the case of Texas Tech wide-out Michael Crabtree (6’2″, 220lbs) , we’ve forgotten that bone fractures heal, that rehabilitation regenerates health, and perhaps most importantly, that this kid caught 231 passes for well over 3000 yards and 41 touchdowns— in two seasons.

It has been the trendy draft prediction to suggest that Crabtree will fall to the Oakland Raiders at pick number seven, creating a three-headed offensive juggernaut in the black-hole (Jamarcus Russell, Darren McFadden and Crabtree). Even more ridiculously, some suspect that Crabtree will be passed by the Raiders, falling to the Jacksonville Jaguars at pick number eight. My reaction, shock and awe.

Aside from the fact that Crabtree is hands down the best offensive weapon in this draft, there are also natural fits for Crabtree in the top 5, that satisfy both golden draft requirements: “need” and “value”. Let’s go numerically—pick two, three, and five.

At pick number two, St. Louis will go into their off-season program with Donnie Avery and Keenan Burton starting at wide receiver. Given the release of Torry Holt, Avery is the only viable option that can possibly hold a starting spot. The Rams are frighteningly thin at WR. Enter Crabtree.

At pick number three, Kansas City has the proven receiving threat of Dewayne Bowe on the outside, but the patchwork beneath him leaves much to be desired. With Todd Haley as the head coach, and Tony Gonzalez’s career winding down, this makes more sense than people are lead to believe. Enter Crabtree.

Finally, the fifth pick. The Cleveland Browns shipped away Kellen Winslow earlier this offseason, there goes 100 catches. Braylon Edwards has been horribly inconsistent. Joe Jurivicious is gone, and Stallworth will be soon, given his recent automotive incident. Enter Crabtree.

This kid is a true phenom. Sorry Oakland and Sorry Jacksonville.

Verdict: Top-5.

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Filed under Player Analysis, Wide Receiver

Wide Receivers Follow Suit

Harvin, Crabtree, Maclin

In what has been an exciting set of developments, this year’s crop of underclassmen wide receivers have mimed their offensive counterparts in the backfield. It seems as though declaring for the draft as a young-gun is more “in vogue” this year than any in recent memory, as illustrated by the two most critical offensive skill positions.

The most notable wide receivers that have declared for the pros are: Michael Crabtree (Texas Tech), Jeremy Maclin (Missouri), Percy Harvin (Florida), Darrius Heyward-Bey (Maryland) , Kenny Britt (Rutgers) and Hakeen Nicks (North Carolina). Crabtree is the most alluring prospect, often being cited as the number one talent in this year’s draft, regardless of position.

But beyond the Crabtree-mania, there exists a group of receivers that represent a complete 180 degree turn-around from the first-round drought that we witnessed last year at the WR position. Maclin has the potential to climb into the top-15, Harvin into the top-20, and each of the remaining prospects all have a realistic shot at being late first to early second-rounders (assuming they work-out well, and perform strongly at pro-days etc.)

So what are the consequences of this eminent double-cohort at the wide receiver position. It is frighteningly similar to the situation unfolding at the tailback position, where established seniors are being forced down the totem poll, by the more athletic, more skilled and more confident list of underclassmen. This is obviously bad news for the likes of  Derrick Williams (Penn State), Louis Murphy (Florida), and all other senior wide receiver prospects. Not only was the glut at the position unexpected, but it will ultimately cost these college graduates millions of dollars on draft day.

So much for the cliche “stay in school”, these underclassmen have apparently been far more influenced by the Steve Miller Band… “take the money and run”.

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Filed under Player Analysis, Wide Receiver