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Film Study: LB Tae Crowder has big upside

This is the last in our series of articles taking a deeper dive using data and game with the use of data and game film into the Giants' 2020 draft class. We have already studied Andrew Thomas, Xavier McKinney, Matt Peart, Shane Lemieux, Cam Brown, Carter Coughlin, TJ Brunson and Chris Williamson.

Here is a look at University of Georgia linebacker Tae Crowder, the team's fourth seventh round choice and the last pick overall of the draft.

Athletic Traits

Crowder was not invited to the NFL Combine. At Georgia, his listed playing weight was 230 pounds. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he was not able to have a Pro Day. Without scores for athletic testing, there are no methods to measure his athletic ability relative to other players.

College History (Advanced Production Numbers Courtesy of Pro Football Focus)

2015: True Freshman Season – Red Shirted

Production: None

2016: Redshirt Freshman Season - one game played at running back

PFF Numbers: No production

2017: Sophomore Season – 15 games played, no starts – 95 of his 123 snaps came on special teams

PFF Production: 7 tackles on defense, 2 assisted special teams tackles

2018: Junior Season – 14 games with 5 starts at linebacker

PFF Numbers: 53 tackles, 6 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, 2 interceptions, 3 passes defended, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, 2 forced incompletions, 1 sack, 1 quarterback hurry

2019: Senior Season – 14 games, all starts at linebacker

PFF Numbers: 62 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 4 passes defended, 1 fumble recovery, 2 quarterback hits, 5 quarterback hurries, 2 forced incompletions

Overall: UDFA Projection

Injuries: He had no significant injuries reported in college.

Athletic Background: Crowder played wide receiver at Harris County (Ga.) High School and was the 211th ranked wide receiver in his recruiting class. He went to Georgia as a running back and played that position through 2016. In 2017, he moved to linebacker and played mostly special teams before becoming a primary linebacker in his junior season.

View photos of the entire 10-member New York Giants 2020 Draft Class

Film Study

Crowder played inside linebacker for Georgia the past two seasons, and his tape shows a sound tackler and someone who is where he needs to be on most plays.

On this first play, Crowder has a one-on-one tackling opportunity against one of the more elusive players in the country, converted wide receiver and Kentucky quarterback Lynn Bowden Jr. Crowder prevents him from getting outside, wraps up Bowden and gets him to the ground of a tackle for loss.

On this next red zone play, Crowder penetrates and brings down one of the best running backs in college football, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, before he can get outside and make a run for the end zone.

Crowder also knows how to attack the football. On this run, he doesn't make contact until the running back is down the field, but when he does, he goes after the football and strips it away.

In the passing game, Crowder shows ability to see what is developing in front of him, break on the ball, and knock it away. He is in man defense here and breaks on the ball thrown to the Tennessee tight end. He gets his hand in front of the receiver and knocks the ball away.

On this next play, Crowder is in zone coverage, identifies the running back he is responsible for in the flat, and hits the receiver right after the ball arrives with a solid form-tackle to force the incompletion.

Crowder also showed the ability to blitz. On this play, Crowder times his blitz and finds a hole in the Vanderbilt offensive line to make his way to the quarterback.

On this next blitz, Crowder beats the right tackle outside and hits the quarterback as he releases the ball to force the incomplete pass.

Crowder was also a core special teams player for Georgia, including kickoff return duty. He is lined up as the first Georgia player to the left side of the kicker from the return team's perspective. He engages in his block early and then finishes down the field to open a running lane for the returner.

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