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View Full Version : Is Crabtree a bust?


JHL6719
10-11-2011, 03:07 PM
What's the deal with this guy?

Is he primarily held back by the QB situation, or has that just been an excuse? Is his effort level, concentration, and work ethic where it should be?

What's holding this guy back? His surroundings or himself?


Discuss/

Ness
10-11-2011, 03:10 PM
He's not a bust yet. He's missed two training camps because of injury and his rookie holdout screwed him over. This is the first time the offense is looking decent and he has a chance to shine. Especially now that Morgan is injured. He'll have to step up. We'll see. He's looking more like a Keyshawn Johnson in terms of what he brings to the table in terms of skillset, which is what I was afraid of. He doesn't get that much separation down the field. He's more a possession receiver. Hakeem Nicks is looking like the better pick at this point, but we'll see.

shylo3716
10-11-2011, 03:12 PM
I have not seen him play this year, but I don't think you would want to give up on him too early in his career. I know this is the NFL, but he had shown at Tech he was capable of putting the team on his back before we found out he was a "Diva". He has a nice receiving supporting cast to not warrant any double-teams, which is a plus for him to dominate a 1 on 1 match up whenever he can.

Xonraider
10-11-2011, 03:14 PM
Long live Darrius Heyward-Bay yay!

RaiderNation
10-11-2011, 03:16 PM
At this point I seriously wouldn't say he is much better than DHB. At least DHB has made improvements over the past few years, everytime I see Crabtree he just looks the same. Doesn't have the speed to out run CBs, seems more like a #2 possession WR type.

abaddon41_80
10-11-2011, 03:38 PM
At this point I seriously wouldn't say he is much better than DHB. At least DHB has made improvements over the past few years, everytime I see Crabtree he just looks the same. Doesn't have the speed to out run CBs, seems more like a #2 possession WR type.

I would seriously say that DHB is better at this point. Crabtree runs poor routes, has sketchy hands at best and isn't athletic enough to consistently get open. Not to mention that he seems cocky and self-entitled and doesn't seem to want to work very hard.

JHL6719
10-11-2011, 03:47 PM
Five posts in and it sounds like lack of talent is actually winning out as the biggest issue, coupled with perhaps a hint of self entitlement and lack of desire to be the best he can be.

Very interesting.


How surprising is it that he is what he is thusfar? A lot? Not much?

MetSox17
10-11-2011, 03:49 PM
I think it would be a much different story if he was in a different offense with a good qb. If Rodgers were with the 9'ers, i think their offense would look a lot like the GB offense does now. They have talent at the WR position, a top notch TE, and good running game. They just don't have a QB that will allow their WRs to have in your face numbers.

Ness
10-11-2011, 04:59 PM
I think it would be a much different story if he was in a different offense with a good qb. If Rodgers were with the 9'ers, i think their offense would look a lot like the GB offense does now. They have talent at the WR position, a top notch TE, and good running game. They just don't have a QB that will allow their WRs to have in your face numbers.

Not necessarily. What good receivers have the 49ers acquired since Terrell Owens? Everyone was either washed up or was just plain terrible from the beginning. Now the receiver that was looking like he might actually have a breakout campaign is lost for the season and we're stuck with a wildcard in Crabtree. The Packers organization on the other hand has actually had good drafts and management acquiring players like Jennings, Finley, and Jones.

And sometimes it's just the receiver not doing all they can to be the best they can be. Having a good quarterback helps obviously, but at the same time we've seen guys in the past put up decent to very good numbers with up and down quarterback play. Andre Johnson was still a good player before Schaub came along and Issac Bruce was still a good player before Warner was the quarterback.

You have to remember that Crabtree held out his first season missing training camp and the last two year got hurt missing the last two training camps. Combine that with all of the change that has gone on with the organization and it's not hard to see why he hasn't blossomed yet.

abaddon41_80
10-11-2011, 05:05 PM
I think it would be a much different story if he was in a different offense with a good qb. If Rodgers were with the 9'ers, i think their offense would look a lot like the GB offense does now. They have talent at the WR position, a top notch TE, and good running game. They just don't have a QB that will allow their WRs to have in your face numbers.

If anything it would be that the offense isn't built for WRs to have great numbers but neither that nor the QB is the problem. Crabtree routinely drops passes or runs the wrong route/runs only half of his route. He was literally responsible for six of Smith's 10 interceptions last year.

MetSox17
10-11-2011, 05:06 PM
Andre Johnson is also an elite NFL wr.. Rodgers makes his guys look a lot better than they are, kinda how Peyton Manning and Tom Brady do. If Rodgers had Josh Morgan/Crabs/Braylon/VD to throw to, i think their numbers would be similar to what GBs group of guys produces.

tjsunstein
10-11-2011, 05:07 PM
I didn't really think he would even be what he was hyped to be in the NFL. I could see him having a very mediocre career at best regardless of team. Something doesn't sit right with me watching Crabtree.

Rabscuttle
10-11-2011, 05:08 PM
The funny thing is, he has actually played like a different guy the last few weeks. He is going for balls that will get him hit and coming down with them. He took Nnamdi's lunch money and even blocked multiple Bucs on one run to his side.

It seems like the switch has gone on for him and he just may have bought into what Harbaugh is doing. He isn't going to put up huge numbers even if he plays great in this system because the ball just isn't in the air much. Now, he needs to learn how to stay healthy and his lack of top speed will always limit him.

This is coming from one of his biggest critics who wanted him used as shark bait.

bored of education
10-11-2011, 05:12 PM
Too soon, really bros?

Ness
10-11-2011, 05:20 PM
Andre Johnson is also an elite NFL wr.. Rodgers makes his guys look a lot better than they are, kinda how Peyton Manning and Tom Brady do. If Rodgers had Josh Morgan/Crabs/Braylon/VD to throw to, i think their numbers would be similar to what GBs group of guys produces.

Right. No one is debating that. You're supporting the point I'm trying to convey actually. Andre is a good receiver because he's a good receiver. Just like Issac Bruce was. As for Rodgers, Driver was good before Rodgers got there. Greg Jennings showed potential in his rookie season when he only had around 500 yards or something and three touchdowns or whatever. Let's not forget that all of the guys you mentioned have had the opportunity to play in the same system for years. Alex and the other receivers for the 49ers haven't had this luxury. Oh and Braylon is hurt.

Rodgers may make the 49ers receivers have better numbers, but at the same time he's also played in the same system and played with a lot of the same players for seven years.

phlysac
10-11-2011, 08:28 PM
Five posts in and it sounds like lack of talent is actually winning out as the biggest issue, coupled with perhaps a hint of self entitlement and lack of desire to be the best he can be.

Very interesting.


How surprising is it that he is what he is thusfar? A lot? Not much?

Don't jump to that conclusion after 5 posts.


I'd say the biggest reasons have been...

1. Lack of cohesion with QB. Zero TC in 3 years.
2. Poor Offensive gameplanning until this year.
3. Lack of opportunities this year. He has looked great whenever he gets the ball. Davis and Morgan have been Smith's go-to guys, which harkens back to point number 1.


I strongly argue against "talent" or "work-ethic" having anything to do with his performance (lack-there-of.)

FUNBUNCHER
10-11-2011, 08:40 PM
I didn't realize Crabtree essentially hasn't had a TC for three seasons. That's critical for a young WR in building a rapport and confidence between himself and the starting QB.

I haven't seen enough of the 49ers this season, but I'm wondering how do people compare Brandon Lloyd and Crabs athletically and skill wise??

For some reason I assumed they were similar players, but maybe not.

phlysac
10-11-2011, 09:13 PM
Feel free to peruse nearly every-single catch from his first 2 seasons (all but 4 receptions, 3 in 2009 and 1 in 2010, all for negative yards.)...

2009
baaCWnHFPtw

2010
nfNUD-T7ol4&NR=1

Caulibflower
10-11-2011, 10:21 PM
He's slow and doesn't break tackles.

BuddyCHRIST
10-11-2011, 10:30 PM
There's a couple issues with Crabtree

-Has a questionable head on his shoulders
-Doesn't have elite physical tools
-Injuries
-QB Play

So for where he was in college, where he was drafted...yes he's a bust so far. Not the worst player ever but not worth the pick.

Halsey
10-11-2011, 11:52 PM
Was never a big fan. Showed numerous warning signs that made it clear he wasn't an elite WR prospect.

Ness
10-12-2011, 12:30 AM
I didn't realize Crabtree essentially hasn't had a TC for three seasons. That's critical for a young WR in building a rapport and confidence between himself and the starting QB.

I haven't seen enough of the 49ers this season, but I'm wondering how do people compare Brandon Lloyd and Crabs athletically and skill wise??

For some reason I assumed they were similar players, but maybe not.

Lloyd may have better hands. Well...he makes a lot of ridiculous catches, but at the same time he used to drop the really easy passes. Not sure if he's still doing that. Crabtree is fairly physical and when his focus is on, he's really good at catching the football.

Lloyd has bounced around the league and had one good year which I don't expect him to come close to repeating now that McDaniels is gone. He might be the next Peerless Price.

BigBanger
10-12-2011, 12:32 AM
Crabtree will be a bust. That's my prediction. When all is said and done, he'll be a bust. Is he there yet? No, it's still too early and right now he's merely a disappointment.

Why is he a disappointment?
Obviously he was viewed as the best WR in his draft class. That simply is not the case and was not the case. He was viewed as a borderline elite prospect for his position and he was compared to guys way out of his class of talent (Andre Johnson, Calvin Johnson, ect.) from previous draft classes. He is not and was not an elite, franchise WR prospect. He simply wasn't. He possessed no physical tools to be great. Simply didn't have them. He was more of a possession WR, a #2 with inconsistent hands, no top end speed and almost no ball skills, leaping ability, body control, ect. The Cleveland Browns crushed his character prior to the draft and called him a diva. He made those accusations seem accurate by holding out and demanding to be paid like the first WR drafted, which he wasn't. He had foot injuries before the draft and they have not gone away. Now he's on a team that's been almost dead last in passing the last three years. He's not going to have the numbers to make even the people who don't watch him think he's a really good player. His situation, where he was drafted, lackluster production, little signs of getting better and the expectations people had for him have made him a disappointment thus far in his career.

Why do I think he's going to fall from disappointment to eventual bust?
First, let me say that calling him a bust does not automatically mean he can't or wont ever become a good, productive player. You can be a good player and still be a bust. Where he was drafted and what people thought he was going to be ... that's what will make him a bust, because he simply wasn't what people thought he was going to be. EX: Reggie Bush is a good player in the NFL, but he was drafted and paid to be special. He's a bust. There's no two ways around it.

Now as I said earlier, Crabtree does not have the natural playmaking talent of a bona fide #1 WR. He doesn't have it. You watch him and you compare him to guys like Larry Fitzgerald, Calvin Johnson, Andre Johnson, Miles Austin, Greg Jennings, Dwayne Bowe, Dez Bryant, Kenny Britt, Hakeem Nicks, Mike Wallace, Vincent Jackson, AJ Green ... those are more of the prototypical #1 WRs in the NFL. They, for the most part, have the ideal size, good to great speed and, most importantly, the ball skills to, at any given time, just out jump a defender and say, "I'm better than you, and you can't stop this." That is not Crabtree. That is not his game. He struggles to get vertical. He doesn't have the speed to take the top off a defense and he doesn't have the ball skills to win the 50/50 jump balls like most of those guys do. He works the short to intermediate portion of the field and mostly relies on his run after the catch. That's who he is. He's a complimentary receiver to one of those guys. And if he falls in a perfect scenario, he can go over 1,000 yards and push 10 TDs in a season. In the perfect situation, he can probably develop that type of production (as long as he would want to).

But most importantly, why he'll bust: Look at his draft class. He made a big fuss about the guy that went ahead of him. Well DHB is outplaying him right now and has more talent than Crabtree, which is the only reason why the Raiders took a second/third developmental WR with the 7th overall pick: SPEED = POTENTIAL. DHB is still raw, still inconsistent, but that one trick he has is more devastating that catching 6 passes underneath for 58 yards. DHB doesn't have the greatest QB situation in the world right now and in year three, DHB is playing better than Crabtree. That's the first player you look at and the first player you compare to Crabtree. And right now, that Oakland picking isn't looking like such an awful pick, which I still believe was a terrible pick.

But you move further down the list of WRs drafted in that class and look at some of the players that went at the end of round 1 (Kenny Britt, Hakeem Nicks). If you compare them to Crabtree, well, there is no comparison. Those are a couple of talented monsters with some real stud potential. Britt appears to be the most talented of the entire draft class and has some serious ability to be one of the elite WRs in the NFL. Nicks, who was my personal favorite of the class, doesn't have the ability to separate on a consistent basis like Britt has shown, but he has more talent than Crabtree and some ridiculously strong hands. He's a beast in the red zone and dangerous after the catch. He's had some great production through his first three years that drastically trumps Crabtree. Those two are going to be better players since they have much more upside over Crabtree and show that they are well on their way to becoming excellent NFL players. When you compare him against those two alone, he automatically gets pushed to the edge of calling him a bust. Then you look further down the draft and you find more players that are playing better than him and are more talented. Then it becomes a no brainer, he's a bust.

You have the most productive receiver of this class taken in the third round: Mike Wallace. Mike Wallace is one of the fastest men in the NFL and an absolute WEAPON on offense. Crabtree simply cannot compare to Wallace' speed and game breaking ability. Crabtree probably wont ever have a season even comparable to what Wallace did last year, and Wallace already has more than half the amount of catches he did all of last year through only 5 games.

You go back to round 1 and find a productive player in Jeremy Maclin. Austin Collie is a good solid slot WR. Mike Thomas is developing into a solid player. Crabtree is among those guys right now. A solid contributor. You don't draft solid players 10th overall. You don't draft a WR 10th overall for him to be a good complimentary WR. You don't draft a WR 10th overall that isn't even the 3rd or 4th best WR in his own draft class. The 49ers drafted a second round talent in the top 10. That's what will make Crabtree a bust.


Damn I didn't mean for that to be so long. I get carried away with that WR class.

Ness
10-12-2011, 12:34 AM
He's slow and doesn't break tackles.

He's not a burner, but he's not slow. And breaking tackles was never his forte even coming out of college. He wasn't touted as the next Terrell Owens or Andre Reed.

Ness
10-12-2011, 12:35 AM
Yeah Big Banger I'm not reading that.

phlysac
10-12-2011, 12:38 AM
doesn't break tackles.

Completely disagree about his RAC ability.

Caulibflower
10-12-2011, 12:38 AM
I think a system wide receiver with a lot of swagger just fooled some people into thinking he was a bit better than he actually was.

Caulibflower
10-12-2011, 12:45 AM
Completely disagree about his RAC ability.

Well, I see the first guy to him often succeeds.

CC.SD
10-12-2011, 12:47 AM
Come on, team. 27 posts into a Crabtree thread and no one has gotten to the real reason he's busting? It's because

http://thecollegefootballblog.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/dream1.jpg

phlysac
10-12-2011, 12:52 AM
Well, I see the first guy to him often succeeds.

As is the case with 99,.9% of WRs. His problem is separation. If he has space he eludes defenders very well in the open field.

Plenty of examples in those vids.

Caulibflower
10-12-2011, 12:53 AM
I wonder if his play suffers from Alex Smith having somewhat low arm strength. He looked better after the catch with Troy Smith throwing to him, who can actually put some zip on his throws. Maybe the ball isn't getting there fast enough to allow him to utilize his optimal skill set. He's not a really fast guy, so the slow arms mean the defenders are closer to him by the time he gets it.

Ness
10-12-2011, 12:54 AM
Oh and let's not forget he's entering his third season. A lot of receivers don't start producing until their third or fourth years.

Ness
10-12-2011, 12:55 AM
I wonder if his play suffers from Alex Smith having somewhat low arm strength. He looked better after the catch with Troy Smith throwing to him, who can actually put some zip on his throws. Maybe the ball isn't getting there fast enough to allow him to utilize his optimal skill set. He's not a really fast guy, so the slow arms mean the defenders are closer to him by the time he gets it.

I don't think that's the problem. Or else Vernon Davis and Josh Morgan would look terrible receiving the ball. And that isn't the case.

phlysac
10-12-2011, 01:06 AM
He has plenty of wiggle. As noted he doesn't have top breakaway speed which limits him having "elite" RAC.

JeffSamardzijaIRISH
10-12-2011, 03:03 AM
He reminds me a lot of Jimmy Smith.

Ness
10-12-2011, 03:04 AM
He reminds me a lot of Jimmy Smith.

Funny I thought the same as well. And it took Smith a few years and a trade before he developed into one of the league's best receivers.

nobodyinparticular
10-12-2011, 03:20 AM
He reminds me a lot of Jimmy Smith.

Funny I thought the same as well. And it took Smith a few years and a trade before he developed into one of the league's best receivers.

In what way? Jimmy Smith was a burner when he came out. Heck, he was always a burner...

BigBanger
10-12-2011, 03:52 AM
I probably couldn't pick a more polar opposite player to compare Crabtree to than to Jimmy Smith. Even if I tried. And if he we do compare, please, not a possible Hall of Famer. Please. Like, seriously. Come on. Let's be real. Not only do they play and look nothing alike, but Smith was one of the best WRs in the NFL for a long time. Like, a long time. And Crabtree is a ****** as evidence by his dreams he dreams in his head.

VAfy-ya
10-12-2011, 08:13 AM
I wonder if his play suffers from Alex Smith having somewhat low arm strength. He looked better after the catch with Troy Smith throwing to him, who can actually put some zip on his throws. Maybe the ball isn't getting there fast enough to allow him to utilize his optimal skill set. He's not a really fast guy, so the slow arms mean the defenders are closer to him by the time he gets it.

Well Aex has alot to to do with. He's a QB with limited vision. His velocity and accuracy are shaky throwing outside the hashes. VD will always be his #1 WR because he does his best work in the middle of the field.....somewhere Alex is comfortable throwing the ball. Crabs works primarily on the outside. Its not a perfect match really. I dont think you'll ever see a WR who plays with Alex Smith put up guady numbers. He's reluctant to fit the ball in tight spaces or throw guys open(he has gotten a little better at this) and he doesn't anticipate routes very well. Not saying all of Crabs struggles are QB based(playing in a vertical Coryell system his first two years didnt help either), but who's throwing him the ball and that person's limitations has to factor heavily into the equation.

VAfy-ya
10-12-2011, 08:24 AM
I would seriously say that DHB is better at this point. Crabtree runs poor routes, has sketchy hands at best and isn't athletic enough to consistently get open. Not to mention that he seems cocky and self-entitled and doesn't seem to want to work very hard.

Seriously? This guy has two decent games in a row and now all of sudden he's better than Crabtree? Its taken DHB 3 years to amassed the stats Crabs had last year alone. And that was considered a subpar season for Crabs by most accounts.

cmarq83
10-12-2011, 08:38 AM
BigBanger,

A lot of what you said makes sense, however I still remember when scouting Crabtree coming out of Texas Tech and seeing him on film. He just doesn't look quite like the same guy. Whether it's the fact that he doesn't fully understand the offense he's running, isn't completely healthy, or his heart isn't in it there is something clearly a little off.

The guy I remember just looked like a good football player. He had those certain attributes that were hard to put your finger on, but were evidently there. He used to attack the ball when catching it, his hands were remarkably consistent in college, and he was a bit more deceptive in the open field. He's never going to be a dominant athlete at the position, but I don't think he's limited to a #2 possession type role. If he found himself in the right situation he could have a Reggie Wayne type productive career. I liked him more than Dez back in the day, and I still think if everything clicks he could be as good or better than him.

abaddon41_80
10-12-2011, 08:52 AM
Seriously? This guy has two decent games in a row and now all of sudden he's better than Crabtree? Its taken DHB 3 years to amassed the stats Crabs had last year alone. And that was considered a subpar season for Crabs by most accounts.

At this point in time, disregarding what either has done for their career, I think DHB is better than Crabtree. He is better at getting open, he is better in the open field and, I never thought I would say this, he has more consistent hands. I will admit that Crabtree has looked better this year than last but I don't consider that much of an improvement because he was awful last year.

VAfy-ya
10-12-2011, 09:36 AM
At this point in time, disregarding what either has done for their career, I think DHB is better than Crabtree. He is better at getting open, he is better in the open field and, I never thought I would say this, he has more consistent hands. I will admit that Crabtree has looked better this year than last but I don't consider that much of an improvement because he was awful last year.

Your entitled to your opinion and I don't really feel like getting into a back and forth with you. I'll just say that I disagree in every way imaginable and leave it at that.

CC.SD
10-12-2011, 10:07 AM
DHB might deserve a mulligan since he had to deal wiht the Jamarcus Russell experience which is tough to type out considering Crabtree had Smith but still might be true.

phlysac
10-12-2011, 10:37 AM
I probably couldn't pick a more polar opposite player to compare Crabtree to than to Jimmy Smith. Even if I tried. And if he we do compare, please, not a possible Hall of Famer. Please. Like, seriously. Come on. Let's be real. Not only do they play and look nothing alike, but Smith was one of the best WRs in the NFL for a long time. Like, a long time. And Crabtree is a ****** as evidence by his dreams he dreams in his head.

As long as you accept that Jimmy Smith had 22 catches and was on his 2nd team after 2 seasons. Michael Crabtree at least produced in his first 2 seasons.

bucfan12
10-12-2011, 02:14 PM
He's been injury-plagued basically his whole career. And the contract dispute his rookie season didn't help either.

I don't think he's going to be this top WR that can take over games. To me, he's a solid #2 WR that will be more productive with a true number 1 WR lining up accross from him.

Not calling him a bust yet, but look at Heyward-Bey. He's starting to come along and maybe all he needed was time.

If Crabtree can stay healthy, then we'll get a better view to judge on whether or not he's a bust.

abaddon41_80
10-12-2011, 02:17 PM
Your entitled to your opinion and I don't really feel like getting into a back and forth with you. I'll just say that I disagree in every way imaginable and leave it at that.

Crabtree already has four drops this year.

shylo3716
10-12-2011, 05:07 PM
Crabtree already has four drops this year.

How many did Braylon have a couple years back when he led the league?

DraftSavant
10-12-2011, 05:12 PM
In what way? Jimmy Smith was a burner when he came out. Heck, he was always a burner...

Jimmy Smith is faster than Crabtree right now. And he's probably smoking a crack rock as we speak.

phlysac
10-12-2011, 05:14 PM
How many did Braylon have a couple years back when he led the league?

It was alot... He's only had 3 drops in 2009 and 2010 combined.

shylo3716
10-12-2011, 05:15 PM
Jimmy Smith is faster than Crabtree right now. And he's probably smoking a crack rock as we speak.

http://image.spreadshirt.com/image-server/image/composition/1191397/view/1/producttypecolor/1/type/png/width/280/height/280/tyrone-biggums-t-shirt_design.png

abaddon41_80
10-13-2011, 07:55 AM
Well Aex has alot to to do with. He's a QB with limited vision. His velocity and accuracy are shaky throwing outside the hashes. VD will always be his #1 WR because he does his best work in the middle of the field.....somewhere Alex is comfortable throwing the ball. Crabs works primarily on the outside. Its not a perfect match really. I dont think you'll ever see a WR who plays with Alex Smith put up guady numbers. He's reluctant to fit the ball in tight spaces or throw guys open(he has gotten a little better at this) and he doesn't anticipate routes very well. Not saying all of Crabs struggles are QB based(playing in a vertical Coryell system his first two years didnt help either), but who's throwing him the ball and that person's limitations has to factor heavily into the equation.

This just isn't true. Smith has done his best work this year outside the hashes

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/players/7177/situational;_ylt=ArCMnEFeQGpDsp9qgbwHAz_.uLYF?year =2011

Ness
10-13-2011, 09:44 PM
In what way? Jimmy Smith was a burner when he came out. Heck, he was always a burner...

Whoops. I don't know why I said Jimmy Smith. You're right, Smith was a burner. Crabtree is more like Keyshawn Johnson, the kind of player I didn't want in terms of ability.

jack1077
10-13-2011, 09:53 PM
Even watching his highlights i'd say he is SLOW. He gets caught by Linebackers when he tries to accelerate. I have no doubt he has a high top speed, but it is his ability to change gears that is the problem imo.

TitanHope
10-13-2011, 10:12 PM
It's funny how in that 1st RD, Kenny Britt and Hakeem Nicks were the last two WR's taken, and they've emerged as dominant go-to WR's on their respective teams.

Then in the middle you have Percy Harvin and Jeremy Maclin, both of which haven't necessarily become #1 WR's, but have become playmakers regardless and are key players for their respective teams.

Then the first two WR's taken, Crabtree and Heyward-Bey, are probably the least impressive so far.