Isaiah Crowell, the well-traveled running back from the Alabama State Hornets, enters the 2014 NFL Draft after a roller coaster of a collegiate career…Was named the Freshman of the Year in the SEC in 2011 after a phenomenal season for the Georgia Bulldogs in which he gained 850 yards rushing (5 TDs) in seven starts…Transferred to Alabama State in 2012 and totaled 1,963 yards and 30 TDs over the last two seasons with the team; Ended the 2013 season with 1,121 yards and 15 TDs (6.6 ypc)…Named First Team All-SWAC at the end of the 2012 and 2013 seasons…Physically, Crowell looks the part of an every down back in the NFL; His 224lb frame is ideally suited to withstand the NFL’s pounding…Athletically, Crowell exhibits very good movement skills and quick feet for a bigger back; He’s light on his toes and can work his way through trash with little difficulty…Possesses loose-enough hips and can change directions without having to gear down all that much; While not an elite wiggle guy, he has enough “make you miss” in his game to keep defenders honest…Displayed enough long speed to project as a runner who can make a big play; Plays faster than his 4.57 40 time at the Scouting Combine…On inside running plays, Crowell is an effective runner between the tackles who builds up momentum behind his pads in a hurry; He’s a quick decision maker in the backfield, puts his foot in the dirt, and gets charging upfield with power and good pad level…On outside running plays, Crowell does a nice job of letting his blocks develop in front of him, reading the flow of the defense, and making an effective move to turn upfield…Possesses good vision and an overall feel for the position.
Crowell hasn’t faced top competition over the last two years, and while he proved himself versus the SEC in 2011, it’s been a while since he faced NFL-caliber talent…Not involved in the passing game and needs to develop instincts in pass protection…Has character concerns that resulted in his dismissal from Georgia (firearms offense; later dropped).
On the next level, Isaiah Crowell projects as a mid-round prospect who is capable of enjoying success similar to the likes of Benjarvus Green-Ellis (Bengals.) Crowell has a good, all-around skill set as a running back in that he can get rolling on tough, inside runs while at the same time popping off a big play from time to time on the outside. Had Crowell stayed at Georgia, his value would have likely plateaued a bit. That said, and because of the promise he showed during his limited time as a Bulldog, he enters the 2014 NFL Draft as an intriguing guy who might be over-drafted as a result. He projects as a good RBBC player who will present solid value in the early portion of Day 3. It wouldn’t shock me, however, if he slips toward the end of the Draft because of his character concerns.
GRADE: 6.5 (4th Round)