Coming off the best season of his career, Jack Crawford needs to continue to be successful in order for the Atlanta Falcons to have a disruptive pass rush in the interior of the defensive line.
Crawford was an asset for the Atlanta Falcons last year when the team was struggling to garner any type of pass rush and he should be able to build off his career best season with yet another career season.
Crawford showed signs that he could become a full-time pass rusher for the team last season. His numbers show that he was capable of disrupting defenses when given the opportunity.
He finished with a career year that included six sacks, seven tackles for loss, one forced fumble, one interception and 35 combined tackles.
He may not be an elite level pass rusher or run stopper, but he does have the talent and ability to at least be a player the Atlanta Falcons can count on when called upon to disrupt an offense alongside Grady Jarrett. He can also play at the defensive end position, which gives the Falcons some more flexibility along the defensive line.
The recent signing of Ra’Shede Hageman gives the Atlanta Falcons more depth, but I wouldn’t expect him to take any play time away from Crawford given Crawford’s success last season at rushing the quarterback and making plays.
The only way that I could see Crawford’s time on the field get cut short is injury. He does have a history with injuries as he missed most of the 2017 season with a bicep injury. During his time with the Dallas Cowboys, he suffered a broken thumb and a calf injury.
He has suffered some setbacks in his young NFL career that do raise some concerns about staying on the field, but if he can stay healthy, he can be a consistent addition in the interior pass rush for the Atlanta Falcons like he was last season.
He has shown that he won’t let injuries keep him away from the field. He was able to bounce back from his short 2017 season to have a career year in 2018.
Hopefully, he will get more opportunities to play because with the new look defense, he has started to gain more confidence in his abilities. According to Will McFadden of AtlantaFalcons.com, defensive line coach, Jess Simpson, said that Crawford has also become more outspoken and knowledgeable of protections and blocks.
With the recent news regarding Crawford, Falcons fans should look forward to what he has to bring to the table in 2019.