Bay Area Sports: Ranking the Top 30 Players

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Nov 8, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Oakland Raiders wide receiver Michael Crabtree (15) makes a pass reception against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

28 – Michael Crabtree, Oakland Raiders

Michael Crabtree has spent all of his seven years in the NFL in the Bay Area Sports scene but is in his first year wearing the silver and black. The former 10th-overall pick developed into a very good receiver with the 49ers, but suffered a torn Achilles in 2013, causing him to miss a lot of that season, and he never really looked comfortable in 2014. When the 49ers didn’t re-sign him ahead of the 2015 season, their geographic rivals picked him up.

Crabtree has looked rejuvenated working with the Raiders and their young offense around him. Nine games into the season, Crabtree is well on his way to his second career 1,000-yard season and has a legitimate chance to break 90 catches for the first time in his career. His five touchdowns are halfway to setting a new career high, and he has three 100-yard games this year, triple his total from the past two seasons combined.

While the numbers he’s posting are excellent, the experience he brings to a young group of receivers is just as valuable. Crabtree is the oldest, and by far the most experienced receiver of the five on the Raiders’ roster, as he has played 88 career games while the other four have combined for just 96. He can teach those younger guys a thing or two about playing receiver in the NFL.

Many thought that Crabtree’s best days were behind him, but he’s proven that rumors of his demise were greatly exaggerated. He’s completely healed from the Achilles injury and has looked as good, if not better than he has at any point in his career.

Next: Star From Out of Nowhere