C4C (Case For Crabtree): The Next Fitzgerald?

You know who Michael Crabtree reminds me of? That’s right — Larry Fitzgerald.

Both players are 6’3″. Fitzgerald, who’s four years older, is only 10 pounds heavier. Crabtree can put on ten pounds easy. Easy.  Both came out of the pros as redshirt sophomores. Both have good speed, and actually play faster than their 40 times. Both run impeccable routes and have fantastic hands. Fantastic hands is a gross understatement. Their hands are to footballs what Amy Winehouse is to crack — inseparable. Both guys have outstanding verticals and the uncanny ability to go up and snatch the ball out of the air in traffic. Both players could end up being the third overall pick should our Chiefs select Crabtree.

Then there are the stats.

In two years, Fitz caught 161 passes for 2,677 yards and 34 touchdowns.

In two years, Crabtree caught 231 passes for 3,127 yards and 41 touchdowns.

Like Fitzgerald, Crabtree has no real weaknesses. He also has a positive attitude and a good work ethic, apparently. I don’t forsee Crabtree ever being a diva. I hear the Detroit comparisons a lot, but if you are going to compare him to a Lions receiver, then compare him to Calvin Johnson — not Roy Williams.

Fitzgerald has carried his Cardinals to being one win away from the Super Bowl.The Arizona freakin’ Cardinals! Anquan Boldin may be the flashier player, but if you ask me Fitz is better. Boldin, like Dwayne Bowe, has lapses in concentration sometimes and drops balls. He also doesn’t quite have Fitzgerald’s route-running ability. This guy gets open about as well as any receiver I’ve ever seen. Crabtree seems to have that exact same knack. Very Jerry. Rice not Porter.

With Boldin out yesterday, the Panthers — and the Panthers have good corners and a good pass rush — focused on Fitz. Nonetheless, he racked up over 150 yards in the first half. Fitzgerald also came down with an opponent’s onside kick attempt late in the game. Unlike Bowe, he always walks the walk and never really talks the talk. He allows his game to do the talking. I see Crabtree being that kind of player.

Three other things:

1. Don’t feed me any of this Texas Tech byproduct of the system crap. Two words: Wes Welker.

2. The Cardinals had Anquan Boldin when they drafted Larry Fitzgerald. A special talent like a Fitz or a Crabtree is hard to pass on.

3. The Cardinals — like the Patriots last year and the Eagles this year — have shown that a pass-first team can make a legitimate Super Bowl run. The days of the dominate running back are pretty much over. Running back committees and pass-happy, spread-type offenses are the future. Even the Steelers threw a ton today. In today’s NFL, the pass opens up the run more than the other way around.

I’m promising everybody right now that Michael Crabtree will not disappoint in the pros. At this time, I am not ready to give that same guarantee about any other player. Remember, the only sure thing about the number three pick is that you have to draft a sure thing. When you are 2-14 bad, you draft the best available player.

This is only the start of the C4C feature, so get used to it. I want to thank Mr. Fitzgerald at this time for giving this campaign a shot in the arm.