A couple weeks ago, the Buffalo Bills signed free-agent receiver Jamison Crowder. With the Bills, it appears he may play the slot receiver role after the team moved on from Cole Beasley. To find out what to expect from Crowder, we reached out to our friend MacGregor Wells over at Gang Green Nation for a scouting report from Crowder’s time with the New York Jets.
What do you like about Crowder’s game?
Jamison Crowder is a small (5’ 8”, 180 lbs) receiver that is pretty much limited to the slot in the NFL due to his size. He has a small catch radius and small hands. He lacks top end speed, and without size, strength or top end speed, Crowder is not a deep threat. On the positive side, Crowder has excellent lateral quickness and route running ability. He has pretty good yards after catch abilities due to his quickness, but he will not break many tackles. Crowder is a surprisingly decent red zone threat due to his ability to operate and create separation in tight quarters
Crowder’s route running is excellent. He shows good technique at the snap, is smooth and balanced coming into and out of his breaks and possesses excellent burst and acceleration.
Crowder is able to run the full route tree, but he is especially good at slants, quick out routes and whip routes.
Crowder can make catches in traffic and he plays bigger than he measures due to very good leaping ability and the ability to high point the ball. He has good hands. Drops have generally not been an issue, but ball security was a big issue early in his career with 12 fumbles in his first three years in the NFL. He has seemingly corrected that issue with just one fumble in his last four years.
Crowder is an intelligent player who knows how to find seams in a zone defense. He doesn’t give up on plays and he does well working his way back to the quarterback when the play breaks down and the quarterback is scrambling.
Crowder is a willing blocker, but his lack of size and strength makes him fairly ineffective in that role.
Crowder is a very consistent player who will rarely disappear in games. He’s not likely to take over many games, but he almost always gives you production from the slot.
Is there a sneaky part of his game that you think the Bills can exploit against other teams?
One interesting ability Crowder has is his throwing ability. If your offensive coordinator is willing to scheme up some trick plays, Crowder is surprisingly good at taking a lateral and throwing downfield. He has a strong arm for a wide receiver and throws with good touch and anticipation. This obviously will not factor into the game plan often, as the concept relies on the element of surprise to be effective, but every once in a while Crowder can come up with a big play throwing the ball.
How do you think he will fit in with Buffalo?
I see Crowder as something of a younger version of Cole Beasley. Beasley probably has a little better hands, and Crowder has a little more big play and YAC ability, but if you’re looking for somebody to come in and do the things Beasley did, Crowder is pretty close to a clone. Given that Crowder’s roughly $2 million cap hit saves the Bills $5+ million from what they were paying Beasley, I’d consider this an excellent signing by the Bills, and I think Bills fans will be happy with what they get from Crowder as long as his health holds up and as long as you’re not expecting a superstar.