Commentary

Crabtree highlights wide receiver class

Originally Published: February 16, 2009
By Todd McShay | Scouts Inc.
Michael Crabtree is not expected to run at the combine, which puts additional pressure on the third-year sophomore to deliver a respectable time at Texas Tech's pro day next month. Crabtree's game is not predicated on speed, so as long as he runs the 40-yard dash in the 4.5-second range and checks out physically, it's hard to imagine Crabtree dropping beyond the first 10 picks in April's NFL draft.

Game-breaking speed is, however, the common thread between the next three receivers on our board -- Jeremy Maclin, Percy Harvin and Darrius Heyward-Bey. Maclin has the best combination of receiving skills and return ability in this class. Harvin is just as dangerous with the ball in his hands, but durability issues and inexperience as a route runner could cause him to slip within the first round. Inconsistency plagued Heyward-Bey's college career but he's the most dangerous vertical weapon of the three speedsters.

Hakeem Nicks and Kenny Britt round out a strong crop of first-day underclassman pass catchers. Nicks lacks ideal top-end speed but he's a strong, physical receiver with excellent hand-eye coordination. Britt is taller and a bit faster, but questionable work habits could haunt him on draft weekend.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider