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Another highly-touted defensive prospect whose stock could take a hit to injury is star defensive tackle Jared Crick. His season ended a few weeks ago, courtesy of a torn pectoral muscle against Washington.
Even before the injury, Crick had tallied just one sack in three games. Teams with a top-ten draft pick are going to ask two key questions regarding Crick’s NFL potential.
First, is Crick really a dominant interior lineman, or was he a beneficiary of playing alongside Ndamukong Suh for a year? Second, at 6'6" and 285 lbs, just how effective can Crick be at the next level?
I don’t believe the first question is very legitimate. After Suh left for the NFL, Crick was just as productive with 9.5 sacks in 2010 (he had nine playing alongside Suh in 2009). However, the second question is a reasonable one to ask.
Crick definitely doesn’t have the size to be a NFL defensive tackle. So, does he have the chops to excel as a defensive end? If Crick can show scouts he can play with a motor, then he may be lumped in the same class as players like J.J. Watt and Ryan Kerrigan, two rookie ends who have already made a positive impact at the next level.