The Giants selected Georgia linebacker Tae Crowder with the last pick in the draft, but I'm sure Crowder intends to be not so irrelevant.
Crowder is a 6-foot-3, 235-pound inside linebacker who, like T.J. Brunson, brings a good physical nature to the Giants.
He played significant snaps for the Bulldogs in 2018 and 2019, while recording 48 tackles, 4.5 for a loss, and 19 STOPS (play the constitutes as a failed offensive attempt), according to Pro Football Focus.
I haven’t studied Crowder’s tape extensively, but I have seen him through osmosis while studying other prospects, and he was very good in the Gamecocks games. He was one of 12 finalists for the Butkus Award, given to the nation’s top linebacker.
Crowder doesn’t appear to be a great athlete and doesn’t have sideline to sideline range, but he’s good within the box. In a comparative world, he has better tackling mechanics in space than Brunson, but maybe not as physically, albeit he has a lot of physicality.
Crowder also has a bit more discipline than Brunson, too; he won’t take as many penalties. Crowder is a very instinctive linebacker--watch his tape against South Carolina, he’s all over the field. He operated the box well, was physical taking blocks on and keeping his chest clean with his length, while being a good tackler.
The thing I love about Crowder, which is similar to one thing I love about fellow Giants draft pick Cam Brown, is the fact that he’s long. Length is important, and Dave Gettleman is aware of that fact.
While Brown is a much longer, and more imposing, rookie, I feel Crowder has the necessary length, while being a more physical player within the box and through the trenches. Crowder is relatively new to being a full-time linebacker too.
After he redshirted in 2015, Crowder moved to inside linebacker from running back in 2016. Immediately earned an important special teams role for Kirby Smart in 2017, the year they went all the way to the national championship game, where the player Tue Tagovila became a household name.
After that season, along with the departure of Lorenzo Carter, who is now his Giants teammate, and Davon Bellamy, Crowder stepped in and helped anchor the second level of that intimidating defense.
Gettleman loves drafting players out of the SEC. During his three drafts, Gettleman has brought in Carter in 2018, with a third, DeAndre Baker in 2019, with a one, and now added Andrew Thomas, with a one and Crowder with the last pick in the draft.
Crowder may be in direct competition with Brunson for a roster spot, but as most Giants fans know, even with the addition of Blake Martinez in free agency, the team needed linebacker depth, and the Giants added four in the seventh round if you include Minnesota’s Carter Coughlin, who is more of an edge.
I’m all for adding physical players who are smart and have solid functional athletic ability.