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Jim Harbaugh: Michael Crabtree has 'the best hands I've ever seen on a wide receiver'

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer
Harbaugh loves Crabtree's hands. (Getty Images)

Jim Harbaugh might like to pound the rock and utilize a run-heavy offense, but the guy's got some experience with talented wide receivers. He threw the ball to Marvin Harrison and he coached both Tim Brown and Jerry Rice with the Raiders.

Yet, it's a guy on his current roster who he thinks has the best hands he's ever seen. And that guy is ... Michael Crabtree.

"Crab's got the best hands I've ever seen on a wide receiver," Harbaugh said on KNBR-680 via Matt Maiocco of

This comment is bizarre, certainly. And it's even more bizarre considering that Harbaugh and the 49ers just went out and signed an all-time great wideout in Randy Moss. (Although Moss isn't known for his "hands" per se, so much as he's known for his speed.) Harbaugh also had kind words for Moss, saying that the widout has "been great in every single aspect" since joining training camp.

Even more bizarre, though, is that, as Maiocco pointed out, Harbaugh doesn't typically compare his players to past/present guys and he made this Crabtree comment completely unprompted.

Crabtree's a very talented wide receiver, certainly. But he hasn't been nearly as productive in his three years as the 49ers would like. And according to, Crabtree ranked 20th in the NFL last year with a 67.3 catch percentage (among wideouts who played 25 percent of their teams' snaps). Talk about Alex Smith all you like, but PFF also gave Crabtree an 11.25 percent drop rate, giving him nine drops on 80 catchable passes.

So perhaps Harbaugh simply thinks that Crabtree is the next J.P. Prewett.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our RSS Feed and subscribe to our Pick-6 Podcast and NFL newsletter. You can follow Will Brinson on Twitter here: @willbrinson.
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