Giants general manager Dave Gettleman decided to mainly focus on the linebacking corps during the last two rounds of the draft, as he used four of his final five picks on this area of the defense.
And so with the final pick of the 2020 draft, the Giants' made Georgia linebacker Tae Crowder this year’s “Mr. Irrelevant.”
By drafting Crowder the Giants are adding another SEC product to their defense. The 6-foot-3, 235-pound hard-hitting linebacker has the size and physicality to be a productive player in the NFL.
Last season, he was a leader on a Georgia defense that was one of the best in the nation. Because of his speed and athleticism, Crowder can also be utilized as a special teams players.
Crowder is originally from Pine Mountains, Georgia. He attended Harris County High School, where he mainly played wide receiver and running back. Crowder redshirted his first season at Georgia in 2015. He was initially utilized as a running back during his redshirt freshman season in 2016 but moved to inside linebacker halfway through the year.
It wasn’t until his redshirt junior season in 2018 that Crowder started to get significant playing time at inside linebacker. He had 53 total tackles, 1.5 sacks, two interceptions, one pass defended, one forced fumble, and a fumble recovery in 14 games played. Crowder started in all 14 games for the Bulldogs in 2019, recording 62 total stops, four passes defended, and one fumble recovery that he also returned for a touchdown.
One drawback with Crowder is that he only made 19 total starts at inside linebacker during his time at Georgia, 14 of them coming during his final season. He also still has some work to do when it comes to fundamentals.
However, Crowder did play the position well over his last two years. Because he’s a converted running back, he has valuable skills needed to be a good linebacker. He can cover a lot of ground in a short period of time and has good lateral quickness.
Gettleman has been committed to overhauling the Giants’ linebacking corps this offseason. He added Blake Martinez and Kyler Fackrell, in free agency and then drafted Cam Brown, Carter Coughlin, T.J. Brunson and Crowder.
Gettleman has done a nice job of bringing in a mix of veterans and rookies to be a part of this unit. With all the depth the Giants now have at linebacker, it is unlikely that Crowder will get a lot of playing time this season. However, he has the potential to still have an impact as a special teams player.
Round 7, No. 255: Linebacker Tae Crowder
Height: 6-foot-3 Weight: 235 poundsSchool: Georgia (Senior)
• Key player on Georgia’s nationally ranked defense in 2019
• Finished second on the team in stops (62) during the 2019 season
• Was one of 12 semifinalists for the Butkus Award, the honor given to the nation’s top linebacker
• Had 53 total tackles (fifth-best on team) during the 2018 season
• Tied with Deandre Baker and J.R. Reed for the team lead in interceptions with two