Boise State Senior
Has good quickness for his size and enough speed to challenge the edge, especially against slower-footed tackles. Flashes ability to bend and dip shoulder to turn the corner. Does a nice job stripping the quarterback on the blindside hits. Shows some ability to make the counter move if he can set up the blocker with his first step. Is able to press the line of scrimmage and flashes potential as a bull rusher. Has a good motor and keeps working towards the quarterback. Can make stops laterally, able to maintain the edge and string out running plays. At times can get off blocks at the point of attack and make stops in the backfield.
Can be slow reacting to the snap, limited his get-off as a pass rusher. Struggles at times to turn the corner when matched up against size. Tends to be a straight-line guy that doesn't have the closing burst to finish every play. Will get engulfed at times at the point of attack. Struggles when he's in a five-technique and is asked to beat blockers by using his hands to disengage. Tends to rely on his speed and quickness, which aren't great. Needs to do a better job getting off blocks at the point of attack when defending the run. Not a great tackler.
When I first saw Crawford, I thought he was a decent rotational end. But the more I watched him, the more I would see flashes of ability that could potentially translate into him becoming an effective starter. The key will be his ability to put it all together at the next level. He's not a dominant player by any means, but effective. He has good athleticism, enough so that if he was 10-20 pounds lighter he could potentially get long looks as a 3-4 outside linebacker. He only started as a senior after transferring from Bakersfield Junior College as a junior. But he was productive in his two years at Boise State.
2011 GAMES WATCHED:
(9/3) at Georgia: 1 sack, 1 pressure
(9/16) at Toledo: 1 sack
(11/12) vs. TCU: 0.5 stuffs; 2 QB hits, 1 FF, 1 FR, 1 touchdown (fumble return)
(11/19) at San Diego St: 2 TFLs, 1 sack, 1 QB hit, 1 FF
2011: 12 GP/11 GS, 44 tackles, 13.5 TFLs, 6.5 sacks, 0 INTs, 0 PD, 3 FF, 2 FR, 1 blocked kick
2010: 13/0-32-13.5-7.0-0-1-1-1; 1 blocked kick
2009: at Bakersfield JC; 42 tackles, 14 TFLs, 8 sacks
2008: at Bakersfield JC; 12 sacks
Crawford has the potential to play well as an end in a 4-3 scheme. He probably would work best as a left defensive end, where his speed will be a better matchup for right tackles than left tackles. But he does have the ability to work well in a scheme that will rotate their ends on either side. He is not a great run defender, but with his size, frame, and strength he has the potential to become better and good there. He'll probably never be a dynamic pass rusher as he's probably more of the guy that can give you 4-6 sacks most years. But I think if he was to play on a line that featured a number of other good pass rushers that could give him one on one situations, he could manage to have a few seasons where he produces more. He should be able to contribute early in a rotation and with a few years under his belt to polish up his technique and moves, he should be able to start pushing for time as a starter. I think at worst, he should be a solid third or fourth end in a rotation that can spell a rush end on run downs, or sub in for a run-defending left end on passing downs. I think there's potential that at some point in his career, he'll even get looks in a 3-4 team, although he's a player that I think will need to drop some weight for that. But for a team that likes to drop their ends into coverage on zone blitzes and such, I think he can work well there. I think his idea playing weight is probably in the 270-275 range if he wants to maximize his potential as a pass rusher. But playing at 280-285 shouldn't hurt him too much because it'll allow him to be a better run defender. It'll all depend on what sort of role the team that gets him envisions for him. But he should be a solid pro that should have a long career as a solid backup if not a capable complementary starter.
Crawford can be an effective rotational palyer in Atlanta. He has enough versatilty and athleticism that the Falcons could potentially develop him for a variety of roles, especially if they use a hybrid scheme. They could try and make him a better edge rusher and ask him to slim down some to be better able to play in space. He won't be great dropping into coverage, but decent. They could also ask him to bulk up and be a bit more of a interior end when they go to two-gap looks. He's not developed there, but in both roles the Falcons could get a versatile player. He has enough upside that a few years down the road he could be a competent starter. He probably won't be a great one, but should be fairly solid if the Falcons have another player that can draw and slant protections away from him. More than likely, he'll be a good No. 3 guy similar to how Biermann is that can be a capable everydown player, but be at his best coming off the bench and contribute 3-5 sacks per year.
Crawford is a solid mid-round pick worthy of going on the second day of the draft. Because he doesn't have huge upside, I think he would probably be a reach in the second round, but would make a solid third or fourth round selection.
1-pathetic, 2-poor, 3-weak, 4-below average, 5-average, 6-above average, 7-good, 8-very good, 9-excellent, 10-elite
Pass Rush: 6.5
Point of Attack: 5.5
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.