That's what NFL draft "guru" Mel Kiper Jr. seems to think. Of course, I'm a bit skeptical of such a claim, otherwise I wouldn't be taking the time to write about it.
To begin with, Crabtree was drafted #10 overall the first time around, so there's just not a whole lot higher he can go. It's simple math. But there are also two other reasons why he won't go as high next year, the biggest of which is him sitting out an entire year. Now, I know that athletes have no shortage of ways to stay in shape, what with unlimited access to trainers and upscale equipment, but there's no substitute for actually suiting up and playing in games. He could play in the UFL or CFL, but what's the use? He'd be getting way less than he was offered by the San Francisco 49ers, and their offer was less than he was asking. Which brings us to the second point- who would want to draft someone that was so disgruntled with the contract he was offered that he sat out a year of football? A team would have to be very desperate for a wide receiver to take that kind of risk. Either that, or they would have to be the Oakland Raiders or Dallas Cowboys. Of course, you could justly argue that Crabtree would have little choice to sign with his new team since another holdout would almost certainly doom his shot at the NFL. Still, I wouldn't be willing to risk it.
Executives against concept of pick protection. (Yahoo! Sports)
Since the Mel Kiper Jr. video from ESPN includes a look at the Florida vs. UT game, I'll take a moment to talk about it as well. Now for those who don't know me, I live in Tennessee and keep a close eye on all the SEC action and spend a lot of time discussing it with my friends (I'm an Auburn fan). Personally, I don't think Tennessee stands a chance. They're playing the #1 team in the country on the road without a good offense. Their defense-anchored by Eric Berry-has been really good, but they haven't played anyone with an offense like Florida yet. And I know what you're going to say, Florida hasn't played anyone like Tennessee. Now what's that supposed to mean? The way I see it, the only difference between Tennessee, Charleston Southern,and Troy is that Tennessee has a better defense and they talk a lot of smack. Other than that, will it be a huge deal to Florida? I don't think so. But Florida really needs to make sure that they focus, execute their gameplan, and not mess around, because the UT players will be as amped as they are.