Xavier Crawford's Upside an Asset in Bears' Secondary Battle

Gene Chamberlain

Xavier Crawford has been good enough to make it into NFL games, not simply onto a practice squad.

The cornerback from Central Michigan and Oregon State just couldn't stick with his two teams last year and eventually signed with the Bears' practice squad in December.

The sixth-round draft pick of the Houston Texans is hoping to actually stay around this time on a roster.

Crawford had a tackle against the Colts and an assist against the Kansas City Chiefs in games last year for the Texans and then was cut on Oct. 26. The Dolphins claimed him, then cut him Nov. 30 and put him on the practice squad before cutting him Dec. 5, which led to his signing by the Bears.

Crawford's status as a draft pick was no doubt aided by an outstanding combine and a senior season at a new college. When he tested at the combine, he ran a 4.48-second 40-yard dash and recorded a 37 1/2-inch vertical leap.

Not satisfied with the 40 time, he worked out at a pro day and had a 4.37, although pro day timings are usually suspect.

Crawford's college career started at Oregon State and he built up a solid reputation in the Pac-12 after making 70 tackles, an interception, a forced fumble and 10 pass defenses in his sophomore season.

However, during his junior season Crawford suffered a back injury after only five games. In the middle of the season coach Gary Andersen resigned and Cory Hall became the Beavers' interim head coach. Hall went on to become a Central Michigan assistant the next season and Crawford has graduated but had a year of eligibility left so he followed Hall to the Mid-American Conference.

At Central Michigan, Crawford flourished in coverage against a bit lower level of competition and had 24 tackles, an interception and two fumble recoveries.

The Bears could benefit from his speed and leaping ability in the secondary or on special teams.

At the least, he's a potential practice squad cornerback with many of the measurables higher draft picks possessed.

Xavier Crawford at a Glance

Central Michigan CB

Height: 5-foot-11

Weight: 187

Key Numbers: Crawford made 12 pass defenses as a senior at Central Michigan, tying him for the Mid-American Conference lead.

Roster Chances: 1 on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the most.

2020 Projection: Practice squad.

Twitter: BearDigest@BearsOnMaven

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