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Raiders' selection of Heyward-Bey paved way for Niners to draft Crabtree

  • ** FOR USE AS DESIRED WITH NFL DRAFT STORIES ** FILE - In this Nov. 10, 2007 file photo, Texas Tech wide receiver Michael Crabtree (5) leaps over Texas defender Ryan Palmer (13) during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game in Austin, Texas. Crabtree is a top prospect in the 2009 NFL Draft. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

SANTA CLARA ? The 49ers? day began with the orchestrated unveiling of new uniforms that closely resemble the threads the team wore back in the team?s glory years of the 1980s.

But the big news happened two hours later when the 49ers chose a self-described clotheshorse to fashion the new/old look.

The discussion within the draft room never reached the serious stages because the 49ers did not think it was realistic that Texas Tech receiver Michael Crabtree would still be around when the 49ers went on the clock with the No. 10 overall pick.

?It was one of the last scenarios that we would end up with,? 49ers coach Mike Singletary said Saturday after the club added perhaps the highest-profile player in the draft.

But the Raiders surprisingly selected Maryland receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey with the seventh selection. Jacksonville and Green Bay followed with the choices of tackle Eugene Monroe and defensive tackle B.J. Raji, respectively.

Then, there was not much that the 49ers needed to discuss before claiming Crabtree.

?We got the best receiver in the draft, hands down,? 49ers general manager Scot McCloughan said.

The 49ers dealt away their picks in the second (No. 43) and fourth rounds (No. 111) to the Carolina Panthers for a first-round selection in the 2010 draft. The 49ers have six picks remaining today in the final five rounds of today?s draft.

But even with just that one selection on Saturday, this day was considered ? at least for a while ? a grand success.

Since Terrell Owens left the organization after the 2003 season, the 49ers have not had a wide receiver with more than 61 receptions in a single season. Now, they are getting the most prolific two-year receiver in the history of college football.


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