Tag Archives: Wide Receiver

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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Onward, Upward, and Heyward (-Bey)

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This past weekend, the NFL’s 2009 rookie class descended upon Lukas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis to participate in the annual NFL Combine. It is there that scouts, team officials and doctors are allowed to poke, prod and examine both the physical and mental capabilities of the future pieces of their franchise.

Each year, there is the proverbial “work-out warrior”, where one player puts up dazzling numbers in the various measurement drills. Warriors of years past include Vernon Gholston (New York Jets), Vernon Davis (San Fran 49ers), Broderick Bunkley (Philadelphia Eagles), and a whole host of others- each of whom got significant paychecks on draft day. This year’s version- Darrius Heyward-Bey, the junior Wide Receiver from the Maryland Terps.

Not only did Heyward-Bey run the second fastest 40-time this decade by a WR (4.3 seconds), but also, he stood out in his position drills, running fluidly and catching the ball well. This was a timely performance seeing that the consensus top wide receiver, Michael Crabtree, has had nothing but adversity consume his name this past weekend. Crabtree reportedly has a stress-fracture in his left foot, which follows the ankle problem that bothered him this past season.

Cue the truly money-making performance by Heyward-Bey, who was originally thought to be a top-25 pick, but now, likely won’t be available past pick number 15.  Hopefully his performance translates into production- which is alarmingly rare, especially when one looks at the names of the past “workout warriors” above. However, there is no reason to believe that DHB won’t succeed in the NFL. His college production matches the dominance of his combine numbers, and he will likely excel at the next level.

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Filed under Player Analysis, Wide Receiver