After fan- (and analyst) favorite wide receiver Cole Beasley was released by the Buffalo Bills, it created a bit of a void in the high-powered offense for which the Bills are now known. Like clockwork though, general manager Brandon Beane has been working overtime to maintain and improve the roster. Enter Jamison Crowder, the 28-year-old former New York Jets wide receiver. Will he be a Beasley replacement, or should we temper expectations?
Let’s get his blocking out of the way first. Jamison Crowder is a very willing blocker and has no qualms about getting physical. Due to his diminutive size (he’s a shred larger than Beasley) I don’t think you’ll see him going toe-to-toe with a nose tackle any time soon, but Crowder can be disruptive against defensive backs.
I think this clip speaks volumes about Crowder’s effort level. If there’s a yard to be found, he’s gonna do it.
The biggest question of course is if Crowder is a replacement for Cole Beasley. If you ask me (which you did since you’re here reading this) Beasley’s absolute best attribute was his route running. This route is a good look at Crowder’s ceiling, and while the ball doesn’t come his way it looks like he had the best chance of converting this down on the field. I love everything about this route. That said, check out his collective route charts on Next Gen Stats here. I don’t think Crowder is Beasley’s equal for routes but don’t take that as an insult. Crowder is a very capable route runner, Beasley was just a step above.
Another Bease comparison here. Crowder is fine making tough catches. This is roughly 99% likely to end with Crowder being walloped, but he makes the catch.
Wait for it. Just like Jamison Crowder had to. If this ball came to him right away there’s a chance he can shake the defender. By the time the ball hits his hands he’s already tackled. I bring this up as I think Crowder on paper looks fine, but we’ve seen several players now who benefit from the Josh Allen Effect. Could Crowder be next? I hope so. It’s not all that remote a shot either.
Alright, so he’s not as sharp a route runner as Beasley, eh Skare? That’s correct. If you look at his combine results he’s also a step slower. If you look at his pro day results he’s a step faster. If you look at the film and pretend this didn’t end in a fumble, I trust the pro day numbers.
The Cincinnati Bengals are playing a bit softer here due to the down and distance, but I want you to imagine this in the Bills’ offense. The ball is to Crowder quickly, and he’s able to pick up some YAC for a total gain of 12, putting the Jets back in a manageable situation. Crowder found the soft spot. Now what if his quarterback could get him the ball even faster?
He does trick plays too.
Time will tell if Jamison Crowder can effectively replace Cole Beasley, but there’s a lot to like with Crowder’s game. My overall impression is a faster, less-precise runner than what we’re used to seeing out of the slot the last few seasons. The “what if” game is incredibly enticing with Crowder too. From what I saw, the Jets weren’t able to maximize the possibilities Crowder offers.
At some point a new face on offense WON’T have the best season of their career catching passes from Josh Allen, but you won’t catch me putting any money down that it’ll be Crowder.