While the 2009 NFL Draft's spotlight was stolen by the New York Jets' acquisition of USC quarterback Mark Sanchez, there was plenty of drama around the San Francisco 49ers' signing of wide receiver Michael Crabtree of Texas Tech.
Crabtree, generally considered the best wide receiver available, seemed to be the logical choice for the Oakland Raiders, who were picking at number 7 during the first round. But Oakland owner Al Davis opted to select Darrius Heyward-Bey, who is very fast but wasn't as highly ranked as Crabtree (considered one of the "best receivers in the modern college football era") or other players. So, picking at the number 10 slot, the 49ers snatched up Crabtree, who may or not may have a "diva" reputation.
Crabtree said on Saturday, "I have some big shoes to fill when I go to the 49ers with Jerry Rice. I'm looking forward to that, too." Yesterday visited the 49ers' Santa Clara facility—his jersey number will be 15. The Mercury News' Tim Kawakami writes, "Michael Crabtree — diva, devil or dream receiver — is everything the 49ers needed and could not have ever expected to receive. He's a gift to this woebegone franchise, really. A potential playmaking, headline-generating superstar, dropped to the 49ers from the sky." And over at SFGate, Rich Lieberman offers up why Oakland maybe made the right choice for their team.