The Sophomore Spotlight lands on the Washington Redskins' first fourth-round selection in 2015. Locals might not have been happy when general manager Scot McCloughan drafted Duke's Jamison Crowder instead of Maryland's Stefon Diggs, but both stood out immediately in the NFL. The key now will be seeing if Crowder can prove his GM made the right choice by taking his game to another level.
Before the Washington Redskins
The diminutive Crowder spent four years in college, a common trend with McCloughan's draftees. He showed that he belonged right away, pacing Duke in all-purpose yards as a freshman in 2011. The following year, the Blue Devils made it to their first bowl game since 1995 and Crowder polished off his first of three seasons with 1,000-plus receiving yards. By the time he left the program, Crowder had been named a first-team All-ACC wide receiver twice and owned a handful of school and conference records.
|Year||Games Played||Receptions||Receiving Yards||Yards per Catch||Scrimmage Touchdowns||Punt Return Yards||Punt Return Average||Punt Return Touchdowns||Fumbles|
What the Analysts Said
Lance Zierlein, NFL.com
"Smallish slot wide receiver who will have to win with his quickness and route proficiency. Features point-guard quickness and generally solid hands. Has proven his willingness to compete all over the field despite his lack of size."
Dane Brugler, CBSSports.com
"The ACC's all-time co-leader in catches, Crowder is a pint-sized target with a smallish catching radius, but he has the seasoned routes and ballskills to secure receptions away from his body without breaking stride to create as a ballcarrier. He does his best work in space where he shows his change of direction skills and intuitive moves, processing everything quickly with thinking that appears two moves ahead of the current one."
Walter Cherepinsky, WalterFootball.com
"The undersized Crowder produced a good season for the Blue Devils with 85 receptions for 1,044 yards with six touchdowns. He finished the year well with a 100-yard receiving game and a punt return for a touchdown against Arizona State in Duke's bowl game. For the NFL, Crowder is a speedy slot receiver, but the senior may not have the size to stick at the next level. He had a good showing at the Senior Bowl."
|Games Played||Targets||Receptions||Receiving Yards||Average||Touchdowns||Punt Return Yards||Punt Return Average||Fumbles|
When Crowder came into his first training camp, he quickly overtook Andre Roberts as the starting slot receiver. And quick is the proper way to describe him. Crowder ran sharp routes and displayed great acceleration throughout his first year, which ended with the 5-foot-8 speedster breaking another record; his 59 receptions in the regular season were the most by a rookie in franchise history. The mark was previously held by Hall of Famer Art Monk.
But it wasn't all sunshine and unicorns for him. Crowder didn't thrive as a punt returner as many had hoped. His 5.8-yard average was down more than eight yards from his collegiate average.
With Jordan Reed, DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon and Josh Doctson presumably ahead of Crowder in the pecking order, it will be interesting to see how offensive coordinator Sean McVay is able to get the slot receiver involved. His field time may be limited -- assuming there are no long-term injuries to his peers -- but when Crowder gets his chances, he will do damage as defenses overlook him. Expect him to be a safety value for Kirk Cousins and a key cog in the Redskins' intermediate aerial attack again.
Additional Sophomore Spotlights
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