With the off-season fully underway, people are talking about who we may get in free agency or in the draft. A lot of names have been brought up, some more familiar than others. However, there's one name I'd like to mention that not many seem to be considering as a major piece for our d-line.
This guy had a rockin' production ratio coming out of college. In fact, he had the best production ratio of any defensive tackle in his draft class. He also put up terrific numbers in the combine and his pro day to help support that production.
|40-time:||4.78 (pro day)|
|10 yard split:||1.69 (pro day)|
|Broad Jumpt:||9' 5"|
Best part may be that he's still young and growing as a player. He hasn't reached his ceiling yet. Not even close. Here's a little more to consider. If you've read my previous posts, you know my affinity for players that are versatile and he has that in triplicate when it comes to the Tampa 2. He can play strong-side DE, 3-tech and has the frame to bulk up and play the 1-tech (although, bulking up properly is never a quick undertaking of course). Talk about giving us options in the draft!
I'm sure some of you have figured out who I'm talking about, but if you haven't, may I present to you our very own Tyrone Crawford. I'm puzzled at why more people aren't mentioning him as an option to replace either Hatcher or Spencer. He's had two years in the NFL to gain strength. With his injury last year, he had a full year to study our 4-3 defense and prepare for the 2014 season. With his reported work ethic, it wouldn't surprise me if he knows more about the scheme than anyone outside of maybe Sean Lee.
If we keep Spencer, Crawford can move into Hatcher's spot. If Hatcher is retained, Crawford slides over to fill the void left by Spencer. If both are gone, he gives us the versatility to draft the BPA in the draft and not have to push for a certain position. If we wanted to go Aaron Donald in the first, great, he moves to end. But we could just as easily go with Easley in the second or Reid in the third. Kareem Martin or Marcus Smith could be the selection in the third or use a fifth rounder on Will Clarke in the fourth, Ethan Westbrooks or Aaron Lynch in the later rounds and Crawford plays the 3-tech.
I'm not saying we should ignore defensive line. If a d-line player is available and at the top player on our board in the first (or any round really) when we draft, I have no problem adding him. My point is, when talking about the defensive line, people forget we have a guy most of us were very excited about and because of an injury, he's being looked at as a JAG. Here's a few links that will remind you of just who we have in Crawford...
Extra point - Don't forget about Ben Bass either. He hasn't proven anything yet, but if you recall, in 2013 Hatcher pointed to the way Bass was playing in training camp last year and said Bass would be the reason he wouldn't be with the Cowboys next year. Bass is also versatile and was being looked at in the Red Bryant roll at DE as well as DT.