FanPost

Tyrone Crawford: Why he was #1

Some of us can pat ourselves on the back for knowing about Tyrone Crawford before he was picked. For those of you who read my post about DEs (which won FPOTW honors), you were well informed after the 81st pick. For those of you who did not, for shame! Let the back-patting begin!

Crawford, don’t know much about but def a dark horse and has all the measurables -Fansince89

Tyrone Crawford was every bit as explosive as Shea McClellin and he was a JC transfer who began football

late in High School, so he’s likely got a lot of upside. Getting him in the 4th round is an excellent risk/reward

scenario imo. -pjohn56

Umm, I'm going to remember that Crawford name. -Realist Larry

yea Crawford would be a good pick. -livemontana

Crawford’s measurables look impressive, so I’ll add him to my list of potentials. -pfloyd1

those numbers gave more more reasons to like tyrone crawford

he’s going to be a stud. -ratware

Crawford & Martin really stand out in that metric. -jstaubach

Congratulations, apparently we all saw what the Cowboys saw when they pulled the trigger at pick #81. Now, remember, with great credit comes great disappointment. If Crawford busts out, we're all screwed. Good luck!

Given that I was the author of that DE fanpost, I was absolutely pumped when I found out who they drafted with their second pick. Now, I never put Crawford in any of my mock drafts because he was ranked in a tweener spot between our 2nd and 3rd pick, and because Derek Wolfe could be had in the 4th! (yeah right). But, seriously folks, I'm thrilled that we landed this guy. I knew that DE was an area of the defense we really needed to bolster to improve our pass rush.

Don't know why me and these other guys are excited? Take the jump to find out.

Athleticism

For those of you who have not yet seen his combine numbers, here they are:

40 Time Bench Reps Vert Jump 3Cone 20 YD S
4.85 28 33 9'5" 7.09 4.44

Based on Mel Kiper's measurables benchmarks for defensive ends, Tyrone Crawford was among only 4 prospects this year who hit on 6 of these benchmarks. The others were Derek Wolfe, Mike Martin, and Kendall Reyes. Good company? On my own metric, which was based off of comparing the measureables to JJ Watt's, Crawford came out on top. The marks I came up with included not only a hit (X), but also an exceeded hit (X+). Crawford had the most of these exceeded hits, at 3. The closest the others came to matching him was Reyes and Martin with 2. Both of his exceeded hits came in the agility department with great marks in both the 3 Cone and 20 yard shuttle. If I was ranking in terms of athleticism, Crawford would have been number 1, Mike Martin would have been 2, Derek Wolfe would have been 3rd, and Fletcher Cox would have been 4th (you hear that eagles fans?). Go back and look at my grid, this is not revisionist history. Crawford was the most agile DE among the class.

In the leg strength/explosion category, Crawford was one of the best. He had the fourth best vertical, and also tied 3 ways for the best broad jump. He probably would have been rated as the third most explosive DE, behind Reyes and Martin. Additionally, Crawford was the 4th fastest prospect in the 40 yard dash. The only metric he did not meet was in the 225 bench. He put up a decent number of reps at 28, nothing to seriously worry about. You'd like to see him do 34 reps, certainly nothing that Mike Woicik can't fix right? Also, does size scare you? Why? Crawford recently said his weight was 280, perhaps in actuality already up from his combine weight of 275. Too freakishly light? Well, consider that this time last year JJ Watt was listed at 290. 10 pounds? Now, we've already identified that Woicik is going to use his magical powers to beef up his upper body strength, do you think its unrealistic he can't also put on 10 pounds? In one offseason no less. I think it could easily happen.

So, all in all, you really want to look at all of these metrics together. Who are the most complete football players athletically? When you look at my DE chart, you'd see the 3 most complete athletes were Martin, Crawford, and Wolfe. Alright! So Tyrone Crawford was one of the top 3 most athletic DE's in this years class. So, what exactly puts him over the top to be ranked #1 out of the entire class?

Production

Most importantly, Crawford has the college production to back up all that athleticism. As has been noted by a few of you, Crawford's production ratio comes out on top of this year's class at 1.62. The next highest two are Jared Crick at 1.31 and Quinton Coples at 1.29. Why is this important? Well, let's look at last year's draft class to see how important the production ratio can be. The four top DE prospect's production ratios were Ryan Kerrigan at 1.94, JJ Watt at 1.85, Da'Quan Bowers at 1.7, and Robert Quinn with 1.54. So, last year, Ryan Kerrigan had 7.5 sacks, 4 FFs, and an INT. JJ Watt had 5.5 sacks, Bowers had 1.5 sacks in 6 games (drafted injured), and Quinn has 5 sacks. If you can get 5 or more sacks out of your DE, you got a good one, and their top-of-the-class production ratios forecasted what they were capable of doing. With a very respectable 1.62 production ratio, could Tyrone Crawford rack up 5 sacks his rookie year?

Lets further put his production into perspective shall we? A good comparison to make here is to his fellow DL teammate from Boise St, and pre-draft fan favorite Shea McClellin. In 2010, McClellin led his team with 9.5 sacks, Crawford came in second with 7. McClellin and Crawford both tied for the most tackles-for-loss on the team with 13.5 each. So Crawford and McClellin were a pretty good pair eh? Shea McClellin was drafted by the bears at #19, and we got Crawford at #81. Can you say value?

Since Crawford was mostly an unknown among fans, they wonder what player he compares to and will likely turn into. Hopefully I can disspell some myths here about him only turning into so-and-so. Let's compare athleticism and production among some well known players.

40 Time Bench Reps Vert Jump 3Cone 20 YD S Prod. Ratio
Tyrone Crawford 4.85 28 33 9'5" 7.09 4.44 1.62
Marcus Spears 5.05 23 31 - 7.21 4.44 1.11
Jason Hatcher 4.82 28 35.5 9'5" 7.68 4.5 1.78

So, first of all, Crawford is better than Spears in pretty much every way. Secondly, a lot of people are comparing him to Hatcher. This is somewhat of a good comparison, and somewhat not. As far as 40 speed and explosion, they compare favorably. When you get to the agility markers, Crawford blows Hatcher away. I suspect Crawford will be a much better player than Hatcher. Also, goodbye Spears.

As you can see, there is a pretty strong arguement why Tyrone Crawford was perhaps the best DE in this draft class. I expect him to contribute early and often in his rookie season. Next year, I pretty much expect him to start. A good pick by the Cowboys.

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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