Crabtree vs. Heyward-Bey
Posted Apr. 25 at 02:04 PM
I’m not surprised at all that the Raiders selected Darrius Heyward-Bey over Michael Crabtree.
I’m not as confident as most, in fact, that it’s not the correct decision.
Heyward-Bey is certainly faster – a lot faster.
Go to YouTube and look at the highlights packages for both of these receivers.
Crabtree. Throughout this video, there are numerous plays where I find myself being surprised Crabtree isn’t able to separate or get around the corner. In particularly, go to 1:20 and look at his long catch against Oklahoma State. He’s 5 yards behind everyone on that play, and watch how quickly the two defensive backs are able to run him down – and these aren’t NFL defensive backs.
I said it before on Thursday, and I’ll say it again. I’m worried about Crabtree being another Troy Edwards. Played in a wide-open, aggressive passing system in college, but he might not have a good enough body to be a dominant player in the pros.
Heyward-Bey. Watch this video and it becomes apparent how much better of an athlete the Raiders are getting with Heyward-Bey. In particular, go to 7:35, where he turns a short flip into a long touchdown against Virginia Tech. Heyward-Bey has the ability to score on that pass. Crabtree doesn’t. Heyward-Bey definitely has a superb NFL body -- looks like a young Javon Walker.
There’s more to playing wide receiver than just speed, of course. Crabtree has better hands. Drops were a problem for Heyward-Bey in college, and he doesn’t have the same lateral cutting ability.
And maybe it would have made sense for Oakland to trade down 10 spots and still get this receiver.
But I’m not as sold as everyone else that the Raiders made a big mistake on this one. My hunch is that there were other teams that also didn’t have Crabtree as the top wide receiver on their boards.
Posted by Justin Howe | Apr. 26 at 04:39 PM
Not a huge Crabtree fan, but in his defense, on the long catch v. OK State in the video, he's trying to keep from falling down for a chunk of his run. That's probably why he was run down. Still, I think of him more as Roy E. Williams and less as Calvin Johnson.
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