Giants Player Profile | Tae Crowder, LB
2019 Season Rewind
If nothing else, Tae Crowder deserves kudos for his dogged determination to get to the NFL.
The one-time running back proved himself to be a quick study at linebacker, and a willing participant to pay his dues. After establishing himself as a core special teams player, Crowder's final season at Georgia continued to develop as a linebacker.
Crowder started all 14 games in 2019, finishing the season with 62 total stops (second-best on the team), including 4.0 for lost yardage, three quarterback pressures, and four pass breakups.
Named as a semifinalist for the Butkus Award, given to the nation’s top linebacker, Crowder three times led the Bulldogs defense in tackles in games against South Carolina, Notre Dame, and Missouri. He recorded his first collegiate touchdown when he picked up a Tennessee fumble and returned it 60 yards.
He finished his college career with 115 tackles, ten tackles for loss, five passes defensed, and 1.5 sacks.
If ever there was a designation that had a true 15 minutes of fame, it would be the NFL's Mr. Irrelevant designation.
Think about it. It's difficult enough for a seventh-round draft pick to make the 53-man roster. It's even more difficult for a player picked last in the annual NFL draft to make the roster.
Crowder hopes to change all that, but he's facing an uphill battle. He's only played the linebacker position for a couple of years, making the switch from running back after the 2016 season. And he's going to be reunited with Kevin Sherrer, the Giants inside linebackers coach who was Crowder’s position coach at the University of Georgia.
There's enough to like about Crowder as a developmental prospect. At 6-foot-3, 235-pounds, Crowder, an inside linebacker, is a physical player who packs a wallop when he tackles.
He probably won't be a three-down linebacker as he hasn't shown on film the ideal sideline to sideline range you'd like to see in your linebackers, but when put in the box, he's been very effective, taking smart angles to the ball carrier and showing enough change of direction to where he's not often left reaching for air.
Another thing to like about Crowder's game is that he's disciplined. You will rarely see him committing unnecessary penalties. He has good instincts to track down the ball, and he did a good job of keeping would-be blockers off him.
Make no mistake: Crowder is likely a developmental project given his lack of experience at the position. But he has length, instincts, and physicality--all things you can't necessarily teach and, while he might have to wait his turn to become relevant, there's enough to like about this prospect.