Can the final pick in the 2020 NFL Draft be a player who finally helps solidify the linebacker position for the New York Giants? Since the Giants made him the 255th pick in the recent draft we have spent a good bit of time writing and talking about Tae Crowder.
We are doing it one more time here as we continue profiling the 90 players the Giants will bring to training camp — whenever it occurs.
Contract: Year 1 of four-year, $3.37 million rookie contract
How he got here
By now, Giants fans should know the story. Recruited as a running back at Georgia, Crowder was buried on the depth chart. He moved to inside linebacker and took naturally to the position, compiling 115 tackles (10 for loss) , 1.5 sacks and 2 interceptions in his final two seasons with the Bullodgs.
Jeremy Attaway of SB Nation’s Dawg Sports told us recently said Crowder “always had kind of a linebacker’s attitude on the field. He’s a guy who likes to hit.”
Crowder “really took to the position” after switching there for his final two seasons at Georgia.
“He is still learning it. He does have a lot of upside. Clearly has the physical tools, clearly has the attitude. He probably just needs to continue to refine his game,” Attaway said. “If the Giants are willing to allow him to do that I think by Year 3 they may have a guy that’s a key piece.”
How will the Giants employ Crowder?
“This is a guy that’s only played a couple years at linebacker,” coach Joe Judge said. “We see a lot of upside with him. Both in his physical skills as well as his emerging defensive understanding. He’ll come in and compete for positions at that WILL linebacker spot as well as give impact to the kicking game.”
Blake Martinez and Ryan Connelly — if Connelly is recovered from his torn ACL — are the likely starters. David Mayo is a quality veteran backup for both of them. Crowder will compete for a spot on the 53-man roster, a fate that likely comes down to whether or not he proves to be a valuable member of the coverage teams.