Would you take Crabtree at 20?
According to reports, Michael Crabtree has a stress fracture in his left foot that will require surgery and keep him out six to 10 weeks. Crabtree has long been considered the draft's top receiver prospect coming off an impressive season at Texas Tech. Now, it looks like he'll slide out of the top 10. First, he measured a shorter than expected 6-foot-1 at the NFL combine. Second, he probably won't be able to answer questions about his speed by running the all-important 40-yard dash (the draft is nine weeks from today)
So, if you're the Lions, would you take Crabtree with your second pick of the first round, No. 20 overall, if he's available?
That debate will play out in draft-prep meetings over the next two months. The Lions need a No. 2 receiver to pair with Calvin Johnson and assistant Shawn Jefferson spent time with Crabtree on Thursday. They also have a well-documented history of taking first-round receivers, missing on most of them, and have a ton of holes to fill elsewhere on the roster. Still, Crabtree is one of the top few talents in the draft based on what he did in college and might turn into a superstar.
I wouldn't take Crabtree over, say, USC middle linebacker Rey Maualuga, who would fit a big positional area of need. But depending on the way the draft shakes out, I think the Lions would have to consider Crabtree if he were there at 20. (If they draft him, it essentially goes down as Crabtree-plus-a-third-round-pick for Roy Williams trade.)
If the Lions are lucky, they could turn into big winners from Crabtree's misfortune. Some team won't be worried about his size or speed and will take a gamble on him in the middle of the first round. If he's there at No. 20, maybe someone's anxious enough to grab Crabtree they'd deal a 2010 first-round pick.