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Draft Prospect - WR Michael Crabtree

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A couple months ago, Texas Tech WR Michael Crabtree was expected to fall no further than Seattle with the 4th overall pick, but he was a disaster at the NFL combine back in February, showing up with a stress fracture in his foot (that required surgery) and two inches shorter than expected. He's still expected to be selected in the top 10, although I doubt there are many mock drafts that expect him to be available when the Packers select at No. 9. Still, the next Larry Fitzgerald has hit a speed bump.

But the Packers would have to consider someone who might be as good as Fitzgerald. That's a tall feat, considering how Fitzgerald destroyed every secondary he faced last season in the playoffs. But Crabtree is a great receiver and I would hope the Packers select him if he fell to them at No. 9. Wide receiver might not seem like a major need, but the Packers offense is built around it's receivers. The offense was good last season, but it can get better and improving the receiving core is one way to do it. They can find candidates at right tackle and run stuffers for the defensive line later in the draft, but they won't find anyone like Crabtree.

I'm bringing this up because I just read this great analysis of Crabtree over at Field Gulls. Since Seattle is frequently expected in mock drafts to select him with the 4th overall pick, John has a vested interest in making sure Crabs is the real deal. He was able to compare how Crabtree played against top defensive opponents and compare the results against 5 current NFL players (including the Packers WR Jordy Nelson) who went up against the same competition, and he outperformed them all. In conclusion, John says:

The completion percentage [69%] is especially interesting, because the biggest concern about Crabtree is his ability to get open. The offense he played in boosts that number, but, I guess you could say, that Crabtree was so often double-teamed probably cancels that out a bit.

Combine numbers be damned, I think Crabtree is special, and, not considering position, the best player in this draft. He's going to make some team's fans very happy, even if they'll have to resign themselves to the fact that Crabtree will never best Ashley Lelie in a footrace.