Both have major weaknesses in their games so it makes it tough. Crabtree is still coming off the injury, isn't the best at playing off press at the LOS and isn't the greatest at adjusting to balls in the air, high-pointing the ball and always using his bigger body and he certainly does not have top-end speed; I think he also puts a lot of pressure on CK to get him the ball in critical moments. He is excellent in space, RAC, has great, reliable hands and works hard and always wants the ball...he's also good at all the ad lib plays and has good chemistry with CK. He's an above-average WR and very important to this offense to even function on an average level IMHO.
Iupati is a warrior and is our "pulling guard." If you're a defensive player, just follow him and Miller and you'll find the ball every time which is why it's surprising we have any success at all. He's an above average pulling guard and straight-ahead power blocker but is below average in pass protection and seems to make many mental errors in blocking schemes. He too has also had lots of nagging injuries and certainly doesn't play well with them.
Nothing we do in route running concepts or run or pass blocking assignments is exotic or difficult.
But at the end of the day, who is more important to OUR offensive scheme (assuming both want to be here). Tough call...
We do have Looney and Kilgore and Snyder who can play guard and that is before FA and the draft. One could even switch Boone and Davis for different alignments. And nobody is going to be able to block against 8-10 man fronts so does it matter if it's Iupati or Looney in there?
At this point, I'd say Crabtree holds the edge b/c we have nobody behind him and let's be honest, this coaching staff only trusts Boldin and Crabtree (and a little, Patton). That's it. Hell, they basically moved VD to WR as well. And this coaching staff certainly isn't going to develop a WR behind them let alone throw more than one bone a game to them. So look to a "polished" WR in the draft or another seasoned veteran like Boldin if the coaching staff parts ways with Crabtree and reups Iupati instead.
[ Edited by NCommand on Feb 12, 2014 at 8:24 AM ]