NFL Gridiron Gab starts a look at some of the big names in the upcoming NFL Draft. Today – we look at the wide outs and tight ends:
Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech, Junior, 6’1” 215lbs:
Strengths: Crabtree has been the most productive receiver in the nation for the past two seasons in Mike Leach’s spread attack. His numbers may be somewhat inflated due to the offense that he plays in, but this year, he showed he could get it done on the biggest stage, against the highest level of competition. Crabtree’s biggest strength has to be his knack for reading, and finding the open spaces in defenses. He also runs excellent routes, has outstanding hands, and has a nose for the endzone.
Weaknesses: Unfortunately, because of complications due to a foot injury, Crabtree has been unable to run a forty or work out for scouts. This does not help him, as there were already questions about his speed, and now he likely won’t get to prove himself before the draft.
Jeremy Maclin, Missouri, Junior, 6’0” 198lbs:
Strengths: Another Big 12 receiver who has put up big numbers in his career playing at Mizzou. Maclin has all the tools to be successful at the next level, including elite speed, leaping ability, and solid hands. He even has the added ability to be a dangerous kick-off return man for whoever takes him.
Weaknesses: He is not as polished as many would like, and has been criticized for running somewhat sloppy routes, but that can easily be corrected at the next level.
Brandon Pettigrew, Oklahoma State, Senior, 6’5” 263lbs:
Strengths: About as solid a prospect as you can get at the tight end position. Pettigrew is a great receiving threat, and has the added ability to help out in the running game as a blocker. Pettigrew also has the type of size you look for in a tight end, as well as great hands. Pettigrew is very polished, and has the solid, all-around game that you don’t see too much in most of the tight ends coming out nowadays.
Weaknesses: Pettigrew didn’t time well in the forty yard dash at the combine, which may cause him to drop somewhat. Teams seem to want their tight ends to have more speed going up the seam in today’s offense.