49ers Roster, 90-in-90 breakdowns: Michael Crabtree

Ezra Shaw

Breaking down the 90 players on the 49ers offseason roster in 90 posts (over 90 or so days). Today we focus on Michael Crabtree

Here at Niners Nation, we're presenting a series called "90-in-90". We'll be looking at every player on the 49ers offseason roster, one player per post, from now until the start of training camp.

I'm really good at drawing straws. It was my major in college at The School of Hard Knocks (the fictitious school I use when pretending I actually went to college). The reason I say this is because I get to write about Michael Crabtree, which is drawing the long straw for two reasons:

  1. He's awesome and one of my favorite players.
  2. I know what most of his 2013 will entail, so it makes my job easier.

Michael Crabtree has had increasingly better seasons since being drafted 10th overall by the 49ers in 2009. After a lengthy hold-out, which is the one sour taste I have when it comes to Crab, he started 11 games in his rookie season. In limited action he put up pretty good numbers with 625 yards receiving and two touchdowns.

Each year Crabtree added to his totals. While his yardage didn't increase much in 2010 (741), his touchdowns went up to six. In 2011 he posted the most yards in a season with 874 after only playing in 15 games, starting 14, due to a foot injury. Thankfully, in 2012 Crabtree was fully healthy and was able to play 16 games, posting great numbers with 1,105 yards and nine touchdowns in the regular season. He added to that with 285 yards and 3 TD in the playoffs over three games.

It's safe to say we all had high hopes for Crab entering his fifth season, hopes that were unfortunately cut short due to a ruptured Achilles tendon. While this injury isn't related to his previous foot issues, many will use it to label Crabtree as "injury-prone". The good news is that it's at least possible that he is able to recover in time to see some game action later in the year. The 49ers are likely to place Crabtree on PUP or on injured-reserve with the return designation, for this reason.

Below are some highlights, the best I could find that included recent Crabtree and not just a single season from earlier in his career.

Why he could improve in 2013

I don't think from a statistical standpoint that this is going to be possible, unless you look at things like yards per catch, catches per game, touchdowns per game, etc. as Crabtree will miss at least the first half of the season. If he can come back and dominate even more than he did at times in 2012 though, that would certainly be improvement.

Why he could regress in 2013

Well I think we all know his season stats will regress, but as a player - his skill level and understanding of the offense and the ability to go out and beat coverage, make catches, and score points - Crabtree can certainly do something there.

Odds of making the roster

Again, while he won't be on the 53-man roster, he's obviously a lock to be on the team in 2013. I'd say he has about 60% odds of returning to the active roster at some point this season, if his injury heals quickly and there are no setbacks upon his attempt to return.

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