Dynasty League Spotlight: Isaiah Crowell, RB Alabama State
The Trashman, RosterWatch.com
Isaiah Crowell, RB Alabama State
Weight: 224 pounds
40 yard dash: 4.50 (Combine)
NFL Comparison: Fred Taylor
Considered to be the top running back recruit of 2011, Crowell’s collegiate career at Georgia was humming along. He was SEC rookie of the year and led Georgia to the conference title. But, shortly after, he was ousted for a weapons related incident his sophomore year. He has since rebooted his football endeavors at Alabama State, where he’s fine-tuned his already impressive skill set.
Crowell possesses what many refer to as the “pyramid” of running back skills. He slashes and gallops with explosiveness and shifty feet, catches the ball well out of the backfield, and is a powerful blocker. His hard-nosed running style might actually hinder his chances at having a long career in the NFL as he tends to lower his helmet and take punishment in instances where he could just as well deflect contact. Crowell has great hips and can change direction with ease, so it troubles me to see him take hits that aren’t necessary. Still, it’s rare to see players with such pop and strength in one package, so that shouldn’t be a deterrent to him being drafted.
His off-field history and the fact that he spent much of his college time playing against inferior talent could be, though. If Crowell had stayed at Georgia, he could very well have been the top-rated running back entering the draft.
Crowell will make an immediate impact in the NFL. His former coach Reggie Barlow, who played in the NFL for 8 years, said Crowell’s all-around game reminded him of former stud runner Fred Taylor, who’s toughness and great hands kept him viable in the league for years. Like I touched on earlier, Crowell runs violently and doesn’t shy away from contact, so he could see some missed time due to injury, but he’s too talented to pass up in fantasy. A threat on the ground and through the air, he is a must draft in most formats, and that will eventually include 2014 redraft leagues.