I’ve been one of the biggest supporters of Isaiah Crowell to date, and I’ve also been riding the bus anointing Isiah Crowell as this year’s Christine Michael. Much of the draft community has felt the same way.
Not necessarily from a style perspective, but wouldn’t be surprised if Isaiah Crowell is considered this year’s Christine Michael.
— Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) February 18, 2014
Alabama St RB Isaiah Crowell reminds me so much of Marshawn Lynch. His talent & production will exceed where he is drafted. So much to like.
— Joe Marino (@TheJoeMarino) March 8, 2014
I recently wrote an article at Fakepigskin.com, and at the end of the article I gave a snippet about folks in the football community comparing Crowell to Christine Michael. After getting the boot from Georgia and landing with ASU, he certainly produced like a man among boys.
His production at the collegiate level certainly rivals that of Michael, as he earned a 5.5 Y/C between Georgia and Alabama St while being a touchdown machine. He accomplished this in spite of not being as athletic as Christine Michael when looking at 2 of 3 key combine drills in relation to his overall size. According to the recent dynasty start-up ADP being gathered by Ryan McDowell at Dynastyleaguefootball.com, Isaiah Crowell is going off the board on average at pick 115. I personally took Isiah Crowell at 11.7 in a March dynasty mock and will be the first to admit I’ve been all-in on Crowell. This is the exact round in which I took Christine Michael in a couple start-up drafts in 2013, so that’s where I pegged Crowell early on this year. There’s also some reporting that Crowell has gone as high as the 1.5 pick round in rookie drafts.
Crowell has plenty of concerns surrounding him in terms of character issues, and they have already likely cost him a second or even third round NFL draft pick. Another red flag is his recent performance (or lack thereof) at his pro day. He ran a 4.57 40 at the combine and did not participate in either the short shuttle or 3 cone drills. If you’re an avid Rotovizzer, you know there is a lot of focus in terms of not only speed score, but also agility score. Since you’re an avid Rotovizzer, you also know about the work that Shawn Siegele put into both speed scores and agility scores and how they translate in the NFL.
Crowell weighed in at 224 lbs. When you look at his 40 time in relation to his weight, Crowell nets a speed score of 102.71. This is a little above the benchmark of a mediocre speed score, and that’s an okay thing when assessing 3 down ability at the next level. The next step in this exercise is to see how his speed time correlates to his agility score, which combines his short shuttle with his 3 cone. We want to be able to get a good picture of his lateral ability at the next level. With a player like Crowell, we hope to see his agility score close to 11.1 for elite level talent per Shawn’s recent work. While Crowell didn’t participate in these drills at the combine, he did partake in these drills at the recent pro day.
Crowell opted to keep his combine 40 time, and that makes sense as he wasn’t likely to beat his original timed result. How did he fare in the short shuttle and the 3 cone? His short shuttle at pro day was a 4.51, and his 3 cone was a 7.25. His pro day performance gives him an agility score of 11.76.
As we’ve learned at the banana stand in the past, anything over an 11.5 is – well – bad. Given his 155 explosion score, you’d think that it would have translated into a better short shuttle at a minimum. When people were talking about Crowell not having the physical abilities as Christine Michael, that wasn’t an understatement. In fairness, the results don’t even put these two runners on the same playing field in terms of lateral ability. I can’t begin to know why he timed so poorly at his pro day. Is this what’s to be expected at the next level? Could he have actually performed better than this, but for whatever reason he didn’t bring his “A game?” If the latter is the case, would this not give credence to the character concerns already keeping him a likely late lottery draft pick?
I was one of his biggest backers, but he didn’t do himself any favors. I’m still willing to put Isiah Crowell on my teams, but he likely won’t end up on my teams given the latest soaring price. Maybe his price tag falls come draft day? Maybe it doesn’t. I’m willing to reach for a guy if he has character concerns as long as he performs at an elite level [Christine Michael – enter stage right], but Crowell has character concerns coupled with a below average pro day. I get that he wows on the field — I’m merely pointing out what no one is talking about right now. I’m sure NFL teams are looking at this with a grain of salt.
This doesn’t give me warm and fuzzies that he’s the next Christine Michael, or even Marshawn lynch. In fact, if you look at Crowell in terms of speed score and agility score, he didn’t even do as well as Robert Turbin. The two are almost identical in height and weight, and Tubrin landed a 116.33 speed score and 11.21 agility score. I’ll stick to the receivers in the first round of rookie drafts based on the rising cost of the underwhelming Crowell.