JUSTIN CRAWFORD | RB | WEST VIRGINIA
Height: 5113 | Weight: 199 | Arm: 32" | Hand: 9 1/4" | 40YD: 4.64 | Bench: 11 | Broad: 122" | Vertical: 33.5"
Justin Crawford was forced to to go the Junior College route due to poor academics after verbally committing to Louisville as a high school senior. Crawford made the most of his circuitous path to Morgantown, earning 2015 Junior College Player of the Year honors and helping NW Mississippi Community College win its first national title since 1992. In his two years at West Virginia, Crawford rushed 354 times for 2,244 yards (6.3 avg) and 11 rushing TDs in 25 games, and his 7.3 yards per carry average in 2016 actually led the Big 12.
Crawford is a tall, skinny, upright runner who shows very good SAQ, able to cover a lot of ground with his elusiveness and lateral control. Crawford is much quicker than he is fast and is more of a finesse runner than a power back.
Crawford is a terrific accelerator who can get skinny when he hits the hole despite his high pad level through contact. Crawford has a teleporting signature jump cut that he uses to make players miss after the mesh point and in the open field. While Crawford is an urgent open-field runner, he loses juice quickly in the second level and lacks the long foot speed to take it the distance, often getting run down by smaller Safeties and Cornerbacks. Crawford has issues with ball security and not only does he get loose with his grip when he doesn’t see defenders out of his periphery (six career fumbles), he also has a habit of bobbling the football at the mesh point. Crawford is a limited receiver out of the backfield, which may relegate him to being a first and second down player in the NFL. Crawford chose to sit out West Virginia's Heart of Dallas Bowl vs. Utah to begin preparation for the Draft, which may be a head scratcher for scouts. A suspect blocker, Crawford will need to refine this aspect of his game and learn to anchor against blitzers at the NFL level.
Although Crawford seemed to have maturity issues coming out of high school, his humbling route to the Mountaineers has forced him to grow up. Crawford worked the night shift at Taco Bell to support his wife and two children throughout school despite balancing academics and football. WVU coaches state that Crawford "comes off a bit different" but is a "highly motivated" individual who wants to work for everything. Crawford compares in body type and play style to Justin Davis and will be most effective as a one-cut runner in a Zone Blocking Scheme where he doesn't have to be relied on as a receiver out of the backfield. Crawford projects as a depth rotational player who may have difficulty in becoming a feature back at the next level due to his ball security issues and limited receiving ability and likely projects as an undrafted free agent.
Overall Grade: 53
Athletic Ability: 4
Play Strength: 3
Play Speed: 4
Competitive Toughness: 4
Power Running: 2
"Home Run" Ability: 2
Ball Carrier Vision: 3
Ball Security: 2
Pad Level: 2
Catching Ability: 2
Run After Catch: 3
Route Variety: 2
Pass Pro Technique: 2
Pass Pro Willingness: 2
Player Comparison: Justin Davis
Projected Round: PFA
For information on our grading criteria, click here.