2009 NFL Draft Prospects: <br> Michael Crabtree Profile
Strengths: Big frame with nice muscle definition ... Does not drop easy passes ... Circus catch ability ... Attacks the football ... Times jump balls well and catches ball at the highest point possible ... Great footwork on sideline, showing the ability to keep both feet in bounds ... Has instincts; a reliable target who comes back to his quarterback and presents a window ... Physical at the line of scrimmage to beat press man coverage and at the goal line ... Gives effort as a blocker ... Elusive in the open field ... Nice acceleration from zero to top speed ... Clutch.
Weaknesses: Route running is questionable because Texas Tech does not have many deep outs, deep posts, or corners within the offensive scheme ... Questionable ability to be a deep threat against faster NFL corners ... Does not consistently generate separation (see game-winner against Texas).
Summary: When I put on the tape in the first week of January, Crabtree became a much tougher evaluation than I previously thought. The Tech offense does not have many NFL routes to evaluate Crabtree, and this worries me because route running is the first thing I look at when determining the transition to the NFL. He has the ability and talent to be a great route runner, it just remains to be seen what the NFL scouts project him at in this area and his work ethic (which I have no way of knowing what this is) could be the deciding factor. This is the only aspect of Crabtree's game lacking maturity. Because of all of his great tools translating greatly to the NFL level (effort, ball skills, instincts) I am giving him a cautious Top 8/4.5-star grade.
Player Comparison: Larry Fitzgerald. You would think Fitz and Crabtree would be brothers based on their similar frames. Both receivers have a knack for getting the football at its apex on jump balls and making the circus catch.