Colorado cornerback Ken Crawley’s past will help him fight for a roster spot

deanmullen
Oct 10, 2015; Tempe, AZ, USA; Arizona State Sun Devils wide receiver Devin Lucien (15) and Colorado Buffaloes defensive back Ken Crawley (2) go up for a ball during the first half at Sun Devil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 10, 2015; Tempe, AZ, USA; Arizona State Sun Devils wide receiver Devin Lucien (15) and Colorado Buffaloes defensive back Ken Crawley (2) go up for a ball during the first half at Sun Devil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /
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While the stature of Colorado cornerback Ken Crawley may not be intimidating, you may want to look a little deeper into his character before you write him off.

Crawley went to school at the University of Colorado, but came out of the tough area of southeastern D.C. Many of men before him did not make it to see their 18th birthday without seeing prison or death. Unfortunately, for Crawley one of them happened to be his best friend.

Crawley had made it out of his neighborhood when he got the news during his freshman year that his best friend Gadgett was shot to death.

"“We were real close. They found him in the woods. An older dude shot him. He didn’t even have to man.”"

For any young man trying to find their way, this tragic event could have easily brought down their spirit. Crawley made a choice to use it as a driving force to keep himself motivated. Crawley played all four years at Colorado and became one of the best corners in the Pac-12 in his fourth year there.

Crawley still wanted more. He knew after college that the NFL was a possibility. The prognosticators had him going anywhere from the 6th-7th round or even an undrafted free agent.

Now flash to current day, Crawley is once again a freshman of sorts. He was signed by the New Orleans Saints as an undrafted free agent. Once again, he’s trying to overcome adversity. Not many outsiders will give Crawley a chance to sniff the Saints 53-man roster. While that may be true on paper, you can’t measure heart by looking at a man from the outside. Crawley has that “it” factor that will be needed every day once training camp begins. The chip on his shoulder could propel him forward to a spot in the Saints secondary one day.

Crawley stands at 6-foot, 187-pounds and has a thin frame. He also ran a 4.43 in the 40-yard dash, which was ninth among 59 other defensive backs. His 36.5-inch vertical jump wasn’t too shabby either on Pro Day. Crawley has athleticism that will bring some well needed intensity to a Saints shoddy secondary. He also considers himself a shut down corner that likes to play man-to-man. His tackling ability is also above average.

Next: Why does Saints’ Garrett Grayson keep getting snubbed?

His weaknesses are also pronounced, which are themes of inconsistency and drawing a few too many pass interference calls. Crawley had twelve of those penalties in his last two years. His total number of interceptions was only three as opposed to 19 touchdowns allowed, which will make any Saints fan a little nauseous. These are some of the reasons why Crawley wasn’t drafted.

That being said, don’t underestimate his ability to make the necessary changes to succeed. If Ken Crawley can work on his technique to become more consistent, then he’ll be one to watch out for when training camp opens in July.

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