Once Again, Michael Crabtree Is Everyone's Favorite Seattle Seahawk

Chris CluffCorrespondent IIApril 16, 2009

NORMAN, OK - NOVEMBER 22:  Wide receiver Michael Crabtree #5 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders on the sidelines during a 65-21 loss against the Oklahoma Sooners at Memorial Stadium on November 22, 2008 in Norman, Oklahoma.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Just when it looked like Michael Crabtree had faded into the background and was no longer an option for the Seahawks, some fresh publicity has put the spotlight back on the Texas Tech wide receiver. 

As Crabtree makes the rounds to a few potentially interested teams, now with his surgically repaired foot out of a cast, some people are calling for the Seahawks to pick him.

Charles Robinson of Yahoo.com seems to think Seattle coach Jim Mora is interested, Steve Kelley of The Seattle Times tries to convince president Tim Ruskell to draft the receiver and Chad Reuter and Clark Judge of CBS Sportsline both have the Seahawks taking Crabtree in their mock drafts

When the 2008 season ended, Crabtree was the prohibitive favorite to be taken by the Seahawks at No. 4.

Since then, Seattle has signed T.J. Houshmandzadeh and the talk has turned to the team’s possible interest in quarterbacks Matthew Stafford and Mark Sanchez, as Crabtree has slid down mock drafts amid an avalanche of bad news.  

At the Combine, Crabtree measured two inches shorter than advertised (6-1 rather than 6-3), and he was found to have a stress fracture in his left foot, necessitating surgery and ruling out any chance he would answer questions about his speed by running the 40-yard dash for NFL teams.  

Questions also persisted about whether he was a “system” wide receiver, putting up gaudy numbers because Texas Tech throws the ball so much, and about whether he would be able to get open in a pro-style offense against speedy NFL cornerbacks.  

Then came the whispers that the redshirt sophomore might not have the maturity, or mental makeup, to succeed in the NFL.

His work ethic has been questioned, and five NFL executives polled by Pro Football Weekly rated Crabtree No. 2 on the list of character risks in this year’s draft. 

Robinson and Kelley recently tried to put to rest all of those concerns in arguing that Crabtree should be Seattle’s pick. 

Robinson said the questions about the injured foot and the unknown speed should be moot; Mora apparently backed up that opinion last month when he told Robinson that he is not hooked on speed.  

“With a guy like Michael, he’s put enough great plays on tape that demonstrate not only speed but explosion, burst, change of direction, elusiveness as a runner after the catch, things like that,” Mora said. “If you get to the point where you decide he’s the guy you want to select, you can justify making that selection without seeing his 40 time.” 

In the end, there are arguments to be made both ways for Crabtree, and the fact that there is no consensus opinion on him is why he should not be a top-five pick. 

Kelley wrote in his “memo” to Ruskell: “As you know better than any of us, you can’t make a mistake with the fourth pick in the first round. Miss on this pick and it could haunt you for another five years. Drafting Crabtree is like investing in gold.” 

Or is Crabtree just fool’s gold?