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Bengals catch Crabtree


Posted Apr 25, 2009

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The Bengals opted for the man many believe to be the top offensive player in Saturday's NFL Draft when they took Texas Tech wide receiver Michael Crabtree with the sixth pick.

With their leading options at tackle apparently gone in the first five selections and unable to trade out, the Bengals stayed on offense to grab the 6-1, 215-pound Crabtree, viewed by several analysts as the lone No. 1 receiver in the draft. The date of Crabtree's availability is in question as he recovers from March surgery for a stress fracture in his foot, so it's not a given that the move automatically ends the Bengals career of Chad Ochocinco.

Crabtree, a red-shirt sophomore, drew comparisons to big, game-breaking Pro Bowlers Larry Fitzgerald and Andre Johnson during the scouting process. In his two seasons in the run-and-shoot offense, Crabtree caught more than 200 balls and scored 40 touchdowns while being named the nation's top receiver in both seasons.

Blake Beddingfield, scouting coordinator for the Tennessee Titans, had this recent exchange with a Milwaukee newspaper:

"He's got rare wide-receiver skills. Not rare speed or rare size. Just rare receiving skills."

Could Crabtree bust?

"Only way he would bust out would be if he had an injury."

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