Today we continue our annual 90 player roster breakdown in 90 days. If you missed the previous player breakdowns, you can check them out here.
Name: Jared Crick
Age: 23 Experience: 4
A month into free agency, after Malik Jackson departed for much much greener pastures, the Broncos once again stuck to their bargain bin free agency shopping for the second year in a row, signing Jared Crick after his rookie contract expired with the Texans.
Crick played four years with the Texans. During that time he logged 104 tackles (57 solo), 5.5 sacks, eight passes defended and one forced fumble. Crick also was credited with 27 quarterback hurries and 14 quarterback hits in the last two seasons. The first two years of his career saw him struggle to make many contributions, but in 2014 and 2015 he played a larger role on the defensive line, being in for 63% and 75% (respectively) of the defensive snaps.
He was drafted in the 4th round (pick #126) out of Nebraska and would have likely been a higher pick, but was coming off a torn pectoral muscle in his final season. Crick has been blessed to play alongside a superstar defensive lineman all through his football career as he played next to Ndamukong Suh at Nebraska and of course J.J. Watt in Houston.
Another fun fact about Crick is that the Broncos once owned the pick in the draft with which he was eventually chosen. The 126th pick initially owned by the Patriots, was traded to Denver when we moved back in the first round of the 2012 draft. We then traded the pick to the Buccaneers (who moved up for Doug Martin) as we traded back again, eventually picking Derek Wolfe early in the second, and Omar Bolden in the 4th (101st overall). The Buccaneers then traded that pick to the Texans to move up in the 2nd round and grab Lavonte David. Confused yet?
Here's a look at Jared's contract with Denver.
The Good: Crick's best attributes he brings to the table are his familiarity with Wade Phillips' scheme, and his youth. In just his 5th year and coming off an underwhelming rookie contract, Crick is poised to make some strides now that he is reunited with his old coaches. He also enjoyed his most productive season under Bill Kollar in 2014. This is the definition of low risk, high reward. At worst, he is not too expensive depth that we could cut next year if we wanted. At best, we get a guy who rejuvenates his career in a new place and is under contract on the cheap for two years. I imagine he'll fall somewhere in the middle of those options.
After watching some tape on Crick, he seems like a rotational base end who will provide depth and rotate in on run downs. Any sacks or pressures I saw were more a product of being in the right place, or the QB holding the ball too long as opposed to him creating opportunities on his own. He did show some good strength to muscle through a double team and stop a run against Atlanta. He's not going to blow you away with anything, but he's solid.
The Bad: Crick's production was absolutely terrible last year. Pro Football Focus rated him the 118th interior defender and he was an honorable mention on the mid-season all-worst team by PFF.
Here is a look at his grades from last year:
From what I could see on tape, he looked very slow and showed a lack of creativity with pass rush moves, and by lack of creativity I mean, I saw none.
"Just being with Kubes for two years, coach Wade for two years and Kollar for three years, I know the schemes, what they expect of me and I know what to expect of them. To come back and play for them again, it was a huge part of the decision."
Status: With his signing bonus and his familiarity with the defense, I don't see any way Crick doesn't make the final roster. How much he plays once he makes the roster is really up to how much he can improve and show the coaches in training camp and pre-season. I see him as a rotational end who likely doesn't offer much in sub packages, but is a solid run stopper in base sets.