NFL Nation: Crabtree hurt
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
INDIANAPOLIS -- Michael Crabtree's recently discovered foot injury does not appear serious enough to dissuade teams from strongly considering him early in the draft.
That is my thinking, based on what we know about the injury. The injury was minor enough to elude detection until NFL doctors administered exhaustive tests at the combine.
Specifically, 41 of 46 combine participants who underwent similar procedures between 1988 and 2002 healed without complication. Three developed a nonunion. The success rate for NFL players was 94 percent (16 of 17) between 1996 and 2001.
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
INDIANAPOLIS -- Texas Tech receiver Michael Crabtree issued a brief statement, clearing up conflicting reports about his plans after medical exams revealed an injury to his left foot.
Crabtree: "It's an old injury I've been having and I've never had any pain in it. I will run my 40 and after I do that, I'm going to do surgery and I'm looking forward to going to the next level."
Crabtree had previously told the Dallas Morning News he would not undergo surgery. Sources previously said Crabtree could need between six and 10 weeks to recover from surgery. Those estimates remain unchanged.
INDIANAPOLIS -- Michael Crabtree's foot injury is expected to mean he'll slide on draft day. If he's still on the board at No. 8, could he be in play for the Jacksonville Jaguars, a team that's been in need of a big-play wide receiver since the end of the Jimmy Smith era?
I certainly suspect not. Last year's "big" receiver addition, free agent Jerry Porter, was dealing with a hamstring injury as he tried to get off the ground for the Jags and it never happened for him as he quickly fell out of favor.
Besides, the Jags appear to be committed to working on their offensive and defensive lines first. The common thinking is they'll get one of the top three offensive tackles with their first pick.
The question is, if Crabtree slips to their spot and beyond, does the team that would have taken a healthy Crabtree in front of them now step on their toes by taking a tackle? Eugene Monroe, Jason Smith and Andre Smith look to be potential top 10 picks, with Michael Oher in the mix, too.
Kansas City at No. 3, Seattle at No. 4, Cincinnati at No. 6 and Oakland at No. 7 have all been presumed to be among Crabtree's suitors. If they move away from him because of concerns about his foot, those are teams that might look to a tackle as an alternative.
That could mean the Jaguars are less likely to find the tackle they like best or one they find a value at No. 8.
Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson
The disclosure of Michael Crabtree's stress fracture in his left foot could force the Oakland Raiders into making a tough decision.
|Highly-regarded Texas Tech WR Michael Crabtree discusses his decision to turn pro.|
Crabtree is considered the best wide receiver available in the draft and a top-five choice. One of Oakland's greatest needs is wide receiver. The Raiders have the No. 7 pick and Oakland would have had to seriously consider taking Crabtree if he fell to them. Now, that may actually happen.
Crabtree's injury will require surgery and he's expected to be sidelined for 10 weeks, which would eliminate any workouts in front of scouts before the April 25-26 draft.
While Crabtree is expected to fully recover, his draft stock could be affected. The draft is infamous for teams overanalyzing every flaw of every player. An injury, even one he is expected to fully recover from by training camp, could drop Crabtree in the draft.
If Seattle, which has the No. 4 pick, bypasses Crabtree, he could tumble to Oakland. Thus, the Raiders may have to make a decision on taking the tremendously talented receiver. Oakland also has a glaring need at tackle and there are several top prospects at the position.
But Crabtree has always been the X factor. Could Al Davis pass up Crabtree if he got the chance? That was a question many thought Davis wouldn't get the chance to answer. Now it's a real possibility.
INDIANAPOLIS -- In a meeting with reporters Saturday, Chicago coach Lovie Smith seemed largely unconcerned about the news that Texas Tech receiver Michael Crabtree has a stress fracture in his left foot.
The Bears' needs at receiver have been well-documented, and it's possible the injury could leave Crabtree on the board until their No. 18 overall pick in the April draft.
"He's not going to play anytime soon," said Smith, noting training camp is five months away. "It's not a career-ending injury or anything like that. He's a good football player. He's got plenty of time to get well. I don't think that will hurt him a lot. ... Everybody has a history. He has a history. His history is pretty good. I think he'll be all right."
Smith did acknowledge the Bears need to upgrade the position and put it this way: "I think we need a good, solid, No. 2 to step up with Devin [Hester] as much as anything."
I'll be back in a few minutes with Smith's thoughts on the Bears' quarterback depth. You might be surprised. Stay tuned.
Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker
News broke Saturday that Crabtree, arguably the top-rated player in the draft, has a foot fracture that will sideline him up to 10 weeks. Crabtree was projected to be a top five pick, which is why Browns and Bengals followers were hopeful.
Now it's pretty much official neither AFC North team would take an injury risk with the No. 5 and No. 6 overall pick. Crabtree was considered a luxury, not a need, for Cleveland and Cincinnati. Both teams have a pair of No. 1 receivers in Braylon Edwards and Chad Ocho Cinco, respectively.
Expect Cleveland to take a hard look at linebacker, the team's primary need, while Cincinnati explores the many quality offensive tackles available.
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
INDIANAPOLIS -- Foot surgery threatens to hurt Michael Crabtree's draft stock, but recent history suggests NFL teams might draft him early anyway.
The Panthers selected running back Jonathan Stewart with the 13th overall choice of the 2008 draft even though Stewart underwent toe surgery six weeks before the draft. Crabtree's surgery carries a shorter recovery timetable -- 6 to 10 weeks -- than the one Stewart followed.
Crabtree's injury status could affect the Seahawks' thinking if they find themselves torn between Crabtree and another prospect with the fourth overall choice. Seattle already has enough receivers dealing with injury problems. If Seattle perceived Crabtree's injury as troubling, the team might consider safer alternatives.Crabtree's injury -- described as a crack in the fifth metatarsal bone of his left foot -- sounds consistent with the injury Missouri tight end Chase Coffman suffered. Coffman described his injury as a Jones fracture. I do not know if Crabtree's injury is similar.
INDIANAPOLIS -- In a perverse way, Saturday's news that Texas Tech receiver Michael Crabtree has a stress fracture in his left foot could benefit two NFC North teams.
Before the injury, Scouts Inc. ranked Crabtree as its top overall prospect. Most mock drafts have suggested that he would be no worse than a top-five pick in the April draft. The injury could sink his ranking by some degree -- possibly to the mid-round area where Chicago (No. 18) and Detroit (No. 20) are scheduled to pick.
NFL teams are still processing the medical information and implications of the injury. Last spring, Oregon running back Jonathan Stewart needed surgery on his right big toe but was still drafted by Carolina at No. 13 overall.
The Lions have met with Crabtree but were unlikely to take a receiver with the No. 1 overall pick. But one of the draft's top game-breakers with the No. 20 pick? That might be something to consider.
That is, of course, if the Bears haven't snapped him up first. Chicago's receiver deficiency has been well-documented, and the Bears have other needs as well. (Right tackle among them.) But Saturday's news means the Bears have a more legitimate chance to draft Crabtree than they thought they would when they arrived in Indianapolis.
1:00 PM ET Miami Buffalo 1:00 PM ET Minnesota Cincinnati 1:00 PM ET Indianapolis Kansas City 1:00 PM ET Tampa Bay St. Louis 1:00 PM ET Cleveland New York 1:00 PM ET Dallas Washington 1:00 PM ET New Orleans Carolina 1:00 PM ET Tennessee Jacksonville 1:00 PM ET Denver Houston 4:05 PM ET New York Detroit 4:05 PM ET Arizona Seattle 4:25 PM ET Pittsburgh Green Bay 4:25 PM ET Oakland San Diego 4:25 PM ET New England Baltimore 8:30 PM ET Chicago Philadelphia