When I was preparing for the draft I started evaluation Michael Crabtree and compared him to the best receivers in the previous drafts that were taken in the top 10 that were studs.
They were all 6 foot 3 and above and they all ran fast:
Calvin Johnson - 6 foot 5, 4.33 40
Braylon Edwards - 6 foot 3 4.48 40
Roy Williams - 6 foot 2 1/2 4.42 40
Larry Fitzgerald - 6 foot 3 4.53 40
The first reports on Michael Crabtree were that he was 6 foot 3, yet, nobody knew how fast he was.
The only published time that I could find is 4.53 and that was on a site that also listed him at 6 foot 1 3/4.
I also found out, along with the rest of the NFL, at the combine, that he is only 6 foot 1 1/4.
This is some very interesting info when you are measuring a player who is coming out of a spread offense with a busted wheel. He may be slower than he was AND nobody even knows how fast he was. I just know that he always seemed to take the angle on DBs instead of going past them. If you add that to the fact that he is a relatively short target for a #1 receiver in today's NFL, then it becomes more apparent why DHB was the selection.
Darrius is an inch taller than Crabtree and two inches taller than Maclin and can blow by either of them, although Maclin will be close all that Crabtree will feel is a breeze as DHB runs by him.
From a measurables perspective it is easy to see whay DHB was favored over Maclin and by a measurable and health factor quite simple to see why DHB was chosen over Crabtree. I don't even want to get into attitudes and personalities, but I am sure you will all agree that the Crabman has a few question marks surrounding his apparent "Never ran a route but I'm preparing my bust for the HOF" mentality.
The ONLY knock that people have on DHB is his lack of production at Maryland and his lack of hands. Those would be HUGE IF, Maryland ran a spread offense and had a QB who was told to pass first and ask questions last AND if they had any tape proving this.
Granted, I've only seen highlights, such is the life of a Blogger without access to NFL Films, but, I fail to see James Jett II when I look at DHB.
At this point I have to say that Darrius Heyward-Bey has a better shot at being great in the NFL than Maclin OR Crabtree. Heck, Crab and Mac's QBs found their way onto NFL rosters, can anyone even name the QB for Maryland?
I cannot wait to see him haul in a long TD from J-Russ on Opening Night!!!