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Broncos roster review: Linebacker Tre’ Crawford

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Can the UAB product be the next in a long line of UDCFA OLBs to make the roster and make some noise with the Broncos?

NFL: Pro Football Hall of Fame Game-Atlanta Falcons vs Denver Broncos Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Tre’ Crawford was signed as an undrafted OLB by the Falcons in 2019, but did not make the final 53. He came into training camp as one of five players listed as a MLB in Atlanta’s 4-3 defense. Crawford did not play well enough in the preseason to make the Falcons practice squad. The Broncos signed him to a reserve/futures contract on December 30th of 2019.

Tre’ Crawford, LB

#91
Experience: 1 year
Height: 6-3
Age: 23
Weight: 235 lbs
College: Alabama-Birmingham

Crawford was a very good pass rusher for the Dragons Blazers (that sure looks like a dragon to me). According to one homer fan he was the “best OLB in college football”.

Crawford really only played one season at UAB posting 8.0 sacks, 6 QB hurries, 12.5 TFL and 42 total tackles. Three of his eight sacks came in one game against Southern Miss.

The Good

Crawford is good athlete. He was not invited to the NFL combine, but if he trust his PRO-day numbers he has the physical tools to compete in the NFL. He benched 225 19 times. Did a 42” vertical leap and a 10’5” broad jump. His short shuttle of 4.23 showed he has good lateral agility and quickness.

The Bad

Crawford only played one season (and a tiny amount of a second) of BCS football. When given a chance to show off what he could do in the preseason in 2019 with the Falcons he didn’t even do enough to make their practice squad, or any other team’s practice squad. His sacks in college seem to have been the result of effort and not just beating his man quickly off the snap, but you can watch them for yourself in that highlight video above.

Final Word

Crawford appears to have some flaw in his game that kept him off any teams practice squad in 2019, but there is enough talent there for the Broncos to use a futures contract on him in the same way they did with Brandon Marshall years before. Vic Fangio has a good history of developing MLBs/ILBs in the NFL. If he thinks that he or our other defensive coaches can turn Crawford into a viable NFL linebacker, I’d trust his judgement.