Earlier today we began the draft between Wes and myself to suit up our respective seven-man flag football teams. Wes decided Vernon Davis was going to be his first guy, and I have to be honest, it makes sense. Although I've seen some unathletic dudes find success in flag football, having athleticism can be a game-breaker. Vernon Davis is a big guy, but he has as much speed as virtually anybody on the team, and if you can't get too physical with him, I have to think he'll be breaking open quite a bit.
I bounced around between a few guys in trying to decide on the first player for Team Fooch (we haven't come up with a proper name yet). I decided to look at some of the athletes on the 49ers squad, and I have a guy who I plan on using as my quarterback, while also retaining the option to use him at wide receiver when I run some trick plays with my QB.
That's right, we're going with former high school quarterback Michael Crabtree. Although he is not the fastest or biggest member of the 49ers, Crabtree is a proven athlete. Coming out of high school, Crabtree was one of the top 100 football prospects, but was also a big time basketball prospect. As a senior in high school, Crabtree passed for 870 yards and 11 touchdowns, while also rushing for 646 yards and nine touchdowns on 100 carries.
In flag football, you need a guy that can throw, but given the often one-on-one nature of the QB and the single blitzer counting Mississippi's, an athlete with running ability can be incredibly valuable. I like to think Crabtree brings enough of that to the table to be a solid flag football quarterback prospect. I haven't seen his throwing skills in action, but consider this a roll of the dice based on some of his past work.
Beyond just his ability as a quarterback, his wide receiver skills put him in a position to be used on trick plays. I think virtually every flag football game ever played has included a play where the wide receiver runs behind the line of scrimmage to get the ball and throw it. If Michael Crabtree is in such a play, he becomes an automatic option at wide receiver.
When it comes to my flag football offense, I like guys with versatility.
On the defensive side of the ball, I am inclined to start Crabtree at cornerback, but reserve the right to move him into more of a rover safety position. I wouldn't be matching him up on defense against a guy like Vernon Davis because I think Davis can get more physical when both guys are going up the field. At the same time, in most flag football games, pass interference is not an issue (ask the guy who dragged me down even as I made a money catch!), so I might not be as concerned about Crabtree on Davis since Crabtree can get all sorts of handsy.
I'm not sure Crabtree has quite the defensive versatility of Vernon Davis, but I do think he provides a lot on offense from an athletic perspective.