The Texas Tech receiver didn’t run at the NFL scouting combine. Scouts won’t see him run during the school’s pro day later this month because he’ll have surgery on a stress fracture in his left foot on March 4.
“After thorough consideration and discussion with my advisors and doctors, I decided to have the surgery, rather than risk any further injury,” Crabtree said in a statement Sunday. “As a competitor, I wanted to run at my Pro Day, but it became clear that the best thing for me is to have the surgery and be ready to get on the field as soon as possible.”
Texas Tech’s pro day is March 26. Rehabilitation could take more than 10 weeks. The NFL draft is April 25-26.
It adds to questions around one of the top receiving prospects in this year’s draft. Before the combine, most projected the record-setting Texas Tech receiver to be among the top five picks — and he still might.
But he measured 6-foot-1 — 2 inches shorter than his listed height at Texas Tech, creating a potential concern for teams that thought he fit the mold of a taller receiver such as Randy Moss or Larry Fitzgerald.
There could be additional questions about his durability. Crabtree spent part of last season dealing with a right ankle injury and now there are questions about his foot.
With none of the usual statistics to evaluate — such as the 40-yard dash and 20-yard shuttle — scouts could have a difficult time assessing Crabtree against such receivers as Missouri’s Jeremy Maclin or Florida’s Percy Harvin.
“He has a history, and his history is pretty good,” Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith said Saturday. “I think he’ll be OK.”