Texas Tech receiver Michael Crabtree began the season as a top-10 prospect for the 2009 NFL draft. After another stellar season, Crabtree may now be the top pospect of them all. Get inside for an updated top 100 from our NFL draft partners at the National Football Post.[details]
The Good: A big, physically built linebacker with a long wingspan and good power on contact. Played as a 3-4 rush outside linebacker after setting foot on campus and is NFL-ready. Has a good first step off the edge with the length and suddenness to slip blocks. Showcases good footwork and changes directions cleanly. Redirects well to the ball on inside runs. The Bad: Isn't real fluid in space and looks very stiff out of the backfield. Is unable to stay with tight ends down the field. At times is slowed too much by fullbacks and running backs in pass protection, a trait not found in the NFL's top pass rushers.
Positives: Very good sack production playing in a pro-style defense. Excellent size with long, 331/2-inch arms. Can stick his foot in the ground, plant, change direction and re-direct. Good pass-rush ability - can tug, rip and come under blocks. Shows good functional strength to defend the run. Does not look out of place dropping into coverage. Nice take-on strength. Showed improved agility as a senior. Tough and durable - has played through injury. Cares about the game. Was recruited specifically to play in a 3-4 defense and is very experienced in it. Negatives: Disappears for stretches. Does not have exceptional foot speed. Does not have extensive experience in coverage - pattern recognition and feel for zones are lacking. Can improve his upper-body strength. Can be short-circuited if given too much responsibility. Summary: Looks like a pro and brings good value as a hybrid pass rusher. Played on the strong side in UVA's "30" front and is best with his hand in the dirt. Feet and coverage concerns likely will be a turn-off for some 4-3 schemes predicated on up-the-field quickness, but he could be most natural over the tight end in an "over" front. Also could rush from the outside in a 3-4 or adapt to a "Sam" or "Mike" position in a traditional 4-3, although questions exist about his aptitude. Shed weight and dedicated himself to conditioning as a senior when he stepped into the leadership void created by close friend and former teammate Chris Long's move to the NFL. Grade: Borderline first-round talent.