Drew Boylhart 12/08
Michael Crabtree WR Texas Tech
Michael is your typical big, strong, powerful wide receiver with great hands to catch the ball. He reminds me a lot of Terrell Owens (WR Dallas Cowboys). He looks on film to be an excellent teammate and shows the will to win anyway he can. What makes Michael different from every other big receiver is that along with his long strides, he shows excellent quickness and has very quick feet. That is unusual for a WR of his size. He is very quick in and out of his breaks and runs strong routes and will fight for the ball. Michael is a very smart receiver and understands how he is being played by defensive backs and how to out-think them and get open. He has no problems handling double teams and is an excellent blocker. Michael is a #1 WR and the type of receiver that an offensive coordinator will make his passing game revolve around. He is a threat and defensive coordinators will have to game plan for him or he will burn them badly.
NEEDS TO IMPROVE
Michael does have one very big weakness that will have to be corrected at the NFL level or he will never reach the level of impact that his talent suggests he should reach. After Michael catches the ball, he holds the ball out away from his body. If he does that at the next level, he will fumble the ball. The NFL players will rip the ball from him which will cause Michael to lose his confidence and become a basketcase. This is a big problem, but I have no doubt that Michael will correct it very quickly. Michael also has to learn to get deep. Right now, he runs a lot of underneath routes and quick outs, but he has the speed, quickness and smarts to be a more complete route runner. It just might take a few years for that to happen.
TALENT BOARD ROUND 1
Michael should become an impact WR for the team that drafts him, but he must secure the ball after he catches it better or the fumbles will come in bunches. I remember that a young Terrell Owens struggled early in his career. If it wasn't for Steve Young and his persistence to keep throwing the ball to Terrell it is possible that Terrell would have never been the impact WR that he is today. Fumbles and dropped balls will ruin any WR's promising career. This is an issue, but it is not enough of a concern for me not to list Michael as a top five player in this draft if he decides to come out. He is a joy to watch and the effort he gives on every play is something that I hope he never stops giving. Michael still needs to develop as a route runner and, in my opinion, that will not happen at the college level because of the offensive system they run at Texas Tech. He has proven all he can and now it is time to take the next step. I pity the DB's in the future who will have to cover this kid because, after Michael catches the ball he runs like a bull looking for a heifer in heat. That's why I'm calling him Michael (Bull) Crabtree.