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Channing Crowder ILB Florida 6í2 252
By: Robert Davis

Channing Crowder made an immediate impact as a true freshman in 2003 for the Gators. He started 9 games on the year and finished with 106 tackles with 5 of them going for loss, and 2 sacks. As a sophomore this past season, he finished the year with 73 tackles, 8.5 for loss and 2 sacks. Crowder was draft eligible after his true sophomore season because he sat out a year after high school to rehab knee surgery to both knees.

There are only a handful of middle linebackers in the NFL with the type of natural talent Crowder has. He is big, strong, tough, and athletic. He is the ideal middle linebacker, with the skills to do whatever he is asked to do. He can sift through traffic and stuff the run and he can drop into coverage and cover in the intermediate areas. He shows good lateral agility and has the ability to close on the ball carrier. He is also a good student, and is a member of the National Honor Society.

For all his physical skill and production in college, Crowder has as many questions with his character and durability. He has had numerous run ins with the law. Chargers were eventually dismissed in a vandalism charge, but he plead no contest to battery during his freshman season. I feel it is important to note that these could be simple maturity issues, as they both occurred before Crowder was 21. He hasnít had any on field issues. His durability issues may be the biggest concern. Crowder had ACL transplant surgery his sophomore year in high school, and later on had to have another surgery to clean up that one. He also sat out a year after his senior of high school to rehab from surgery on both of his knees. At Florida he had one more knee surgery and had nagging groin and foot problems. He has to show some durability to play in the NFL.

Crowder is an awesome talent on the football field, but he has so many questions away from the gridiron to know whatís going on with him. If he can stay on a straight path, he has the talent and intelligence to be an impact NFL linebacker. Teams will interview him extensively to find out the extent of his potential problems, and that will be the ultimate indicator of where he goes in the draft. He could go anywhere from the late first round to somewhere in the third, but someone will take the chance on greatness with him.

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