Texas Tech WR Michael Crabtree was generally considered to be the best WR in the NFL Draft -- up until the draft actually started and somebody else (Darrius Heyward-Bey) was actually taken first. So is Crabtree the best fantasy WR to come out of the draft?
He's not the best for several reasons, and the fact that the Forty Niners don't have a starting QB isn't even one of them. How bad is that?
1) Injury - Crabtree injured his foot back in February, a setback that caused him to miss a lot of evaluation time. Reports are that everything is fine, but some teams weren't willing to take the risk.
2) Attitude - All wide receivers are egomaniacs, but Crabtree might have a higher-than-usual arrogance factor:
A report in the Cleveland Plain Dealer said Crabtree acted "like a diva"
when he visited the Browns. "Michael Crabtree has been more successful as a receiver than that guy (Eric Mangini) as a coach at this point," Leach told
the Sacramento Bee.
"My definition of a diva is someone who is loud and
self-absorbed. Michael Crabtree is the furthest thing from loud that I've
Notice that he didn't say anything about the "self-absorbed" part. Huh.
3) Overratedness - No, I'm not sure that's even a word. Crabtree was the center of arguably the biggest, wildest passing offense in college football.
He put up great stats (41 career TDs) and had that incredible catch to beat Texas, but there have been a LOT of WRs that looked incredible in similar college offenses only to be huge busts in the NFL. For example, there's Mike Williams (Southern Cal, drafted 10th overall) , Craig Davis (LSU, drafted 30th overall) and every WR from Florida. When the NFL has stars like Wes Welker (undrafted), Donald Driver (7th round) and TJ Houshmandzadeh (7th round), teams aren't anxious to spend a high draft pick on a position filled with busts.
Crabtree is the only passing threat the Niners have this season and their Quarterback-To-Be-Named-Later probably won't scare too many secondaries. Crabtree could develop into a Pro Bowl WR, but he won't put up Pro Bowl numbers this season. Take a late flier on him, but don't draft him to be anything more than a WR3.