Former Monroe High two-sport star Jamison Crowder was the 15th receiver taken in the 2015 NFL Draft, and as the sun sets on his sixth season in the league, it’s clear that the 5-foot-9 playmaker was one of the best values in that draft.
Crowder has played in 83 games between two teams since being selected in the fourth round at No. 105 overall in the 2015 Draft. In those 83 games, he has caught 354 passes for 4,129 yards and 26 touchdowns.
Comparing Crowder to the rest of that 2015 class, it makes you wonder how so many teams overlooked the former Duke all-American before the Washington football team ultimately took a swing at him. Crowder ranks fourth in the group in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns trailing only Buffalo’s Stefon Diggs (485-6,082-38), Dallas’ Amari Cooper (443-6,170-38) and Seattle’s Tyler Lockett (364-4,802-35) in all three categories.
Of those three receivers, only Cooper (Round 1, pick 4) was a first round pick. Lockett was selected by the Seahawks in the third round, while Diggs fell all the way to Minnesota in the fifth.
Diggs, Cooper and Lockett have all made multiple Pro Bowls during their time in the league, while Crowder has yet to achieve that honor.
Crowder has caught at least 55 passes in five of his six seasons — minus an injury-rid dled 2018 campaign that saw him catch 29 passes in nine games. This year, while playing with quarterbacks Sam Darnold and Joe Flacco, Crowder currently leads the Jets in catches (55), receiving yards (668) and receiving touchdowns (six); he has 31 more targets than the next closest receiver.
This past week, Crowder put on one of his best performances of the season in the Jets’ upset win over Cleveland. The slot receiver caught seven passes for 92 yards and a touchdown while also throwing a 43-yard touchdown pass to Raleigh native Braxton Berrios on a trick play during Sunday’s win.
Despite how well he’s played, Crowder could find himself on a new team next year, as the Jets could save almost $10 million in cap space by cutting him before next season. Considering the Jets have a 2-13 record, the team may not want to spend that much money and time on a slot receiver during a rebuilding year.
Crowder could land in the free agent pool this offseason along with other proven receivers like Allen Robinson, Chris Godwin and Will Fuller, or the Jets could decide to keep Crowder for his veteran leadership and reputation for professionalism.
Of the 34 receivers who were drafted in 2015, only five of them have produced at least 4,000 receiving yards and at least 25 receiving touchdowns since entering the league — Crowder, Cooper, Diggs, Lockett and Miami’s DeVante Parker. Considering six receivers were drafted in the first round, it’s clear Crowder should have been taken much higher than the fourth.
Regardless of where he plays in 2021, Crowder has shown the ability to stand out and make plays no matter what team logo adorns his helmet.