For the second draft profile of the year I’ve decided to look at Nebraska’s DE Jared Crick. The Tennessee Titans had the leagues second worst pass rush this last year and if they expect to make the playoffs this next year, they gotta improve on that.
Derrick Morgan managed a meager 2.5 sacks, though he was battling injuries for the first half or so of the season. He began to make a larger impact towards the end of the year when he was healthier. Hopefully he continues to show growth going into his third year. On the other end of the line, Jason Jones didn’t fare so well in his move to DE. He stayed healthier, as coaches hoped he would, but he only came up with 3 sacks. He still bounced back and forth between DT and DE but his main position was DE. Jones is set to be a free agent this year, as well as Dave Ball. Ball will probably return but Jones may very well disappear.
Either way the Titans will be looking to add to the position and I expect them to do it via the draft. That brings us to the 6’6″, 285 lbs DE from the Nebraska Cornhuskers, Jared Crick.
Pros: Crick is another player that fits a lot of the needs the Titans look for when they draft a player, especially with Jerry Gray’s new defensive scheme. He’s an aggressive, hardworking leader on defense. He has great football smarts and with a 6’6″, 285 lbs frame, he fits perfectly into the type of DE Gray likes to use in his system. Crick has a lot of power and once he learns how to utilize it at the next level, he could become a dangerous player. His motor is another one of his great attributes. He plays till the whistle on every play. He played along side Ndamukong Suh his sophomore year and thrived on the lack of attention from the offensive line. After Suh was drafted, Crick often found himself double teamed but produced the exact same amount of sacks as the previous year and only three less total tackles. Crick is a tough player. He had surgery to repair his torn pectoral and should be healthy enough to participate in both the combine and pro days. This year he was playing through a pectoral injury, until that ended in a torn pectoral muscle. That’s a positive and a negative. In the NFL sometime you’ve gotta play through injury because your team needs you. Obviously Crick can do that. You just have to know when to call it and bench yourself. Crick needs to learn that.
Cons: Crick suffered a torn pectoral his senior year which eventually ended his season. It’s not a terrible thing and his work outs should prove that he’s fine. He leans on his raw power, which will have to change when he enters the NFL because he won’t be able to bully the linemen like he did in college. Another knock is his speed an agility. He’ll have to show those at the combine and pro days and I expect him to, but as for now, they’re in question. Lastly, some don’t like his leg size and say he needs to work on strengthening his base.
His draft stock is really fluctuant right now with sites saying he could be drafted anywhere from the 1st to the 5th round. It all depends on how well he shows at the combine and pro days. If Crick does fall to the 3rd round or later, the Titans would be stupid not to take him. He’s got a lot of upside and could definitely fit somewhere in the Titans defensive scheme. They may even have to look at him in the first or second round…
Here’s a selection of plays from the 2010 season that show his ups and downs:
Here are Crick’s awards, via Huskers.com:
"Honors & AwardsPreseason First-Team All-American (Athlon’s, Lindy’s, Playboy, Phil Steele, Sporting News)2010 First-Team All-American (Rivals.com)2010 Second-Team All-American (AP, CBSSports.com, SI.com)2010 Rotary Lombardi Award Semifinalist (1 of 12)2010 Lott Trophy Quarterfinalist (1 of 23)2010 First-Team All-Big 12 (Unanimous)2009 First-Team All-Big 12 (Coaches)2009 Second-Team All-Big 12 (AP, KC Star, SA Express-News, Dallas Morning News, Rivals.com, Fort Worth Star-Telegram)Walter Camp and Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week (2009 at Baylor)Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week (2009 at Baylor)NU Single-Game Records for Sacks (5) and TFLs (7) (2009 at Baylor)Two-time Brook Berringer Citizenship Team (2010, 2011) 2010 Big 12 Commissioner’s Spring Academic Honor RollBrook Berringer Memorial Scholarship Recipient"
TACKLES SOLO SACKS FF PD FR
2008 2 1 0 0 1 0
2009 73 31 9.5 0 4 0
2010 70 36 9.5 1 2 0
2011 22 7 1 0 1 0