A few weeks back, I published an article which included several of my favorite guys out of the FCS that could potentially go in the 2019 NFL Draft. Now I am going to look more in-depth Duquesne’s Nehari Crawford who has so far this season been on fire for the Dukes.
So far this year, Crawford has managed 838 receiving yards off 50 receptions, turning 9 of those receptions into touchdowns. When you consider that Daniel Parr (Duquesne’s Quarterback) has only thrown the ball 219 times for 134 completions, this gives Crawford 37.3% of all completed catches. Another thing to consider is that Duquesne is a run-heavy offense with running back AJ Hines (who I profiled a while back ) running the ball 166 times already this season on his way to a great year.
Nehari Crawford has had a stellar career in his four years at Duquesne, reaching a total of 2,509 receiving yards for 30 touchdowns, averaging 14.85 yards per reception across the four years. He is also capable of running an end around well, having rushed 93 yards across his career off 16 attempts including getting his first rushing touchdown in his last game against Wagner.
Crawford has always excelled at sport, being a keen athlete in football, basketball, baseball and track. He was his track team’s athlete of the year at Fort Pierce Central High School, with the highlight of his high school football career being his first half against Port Saint Lucie where he had 100 receiving yards with a touchdown, 50 rushing yards and a punt returned for a touchdown, in just 30 minutes of football.
What makes me think that Nehari Crawford is an NFL receiver? Simple, progression. Every year at college, he has improved on the last one. You have to remember, he is still only 22 years old. He stands at 5’11, 175lb so would fit perfectly into a team as both a sturdy possession receiver; and due to his pace, would be a great deep threat.
I had the chance to interview Nehari and find out more about him.
SO NEHARI, TELL ME A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF. WHERE DID YOU GROW UP?
I’m originally from Pahokee, Florida but I grew up in Fort Pierce, Florida.
WHAT MADE YOU CHOOSE DUQUESNE?
I chose Duquesne because I felt like it was the best fit for me honestly. I felt that the offense here would give me a great chance to showcase my talents.
HOW OLD WERE YOU WHEN YOU STARTED PLAYING FOOTBALL?
I was 5 years old when I first started playing.
GROWING UP, DID YOU ALWAYS WANT TO BE A FOOTBALL PLAYER?
Yes, I definitely always wanted to be a football player. Growing up I was a well-rounded athlete spending my time between four sports. Football, track, basketball and baseball. But football was the one that had a special place in my heart!
YOU WON A LOT OF ACCOLADES AND PRAISE BOTH AT HIGH SCHOOL AND AT DUQUESNE ACROSS BOTH FOOTBALL AND ATHLETICS. WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR COLLEGE CAREER THOUGH?
I’d say the highlight of my college career is the 200+ yard performance that I had versus Dayton this season.
WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENT OFF THE FIELD?
My proudest off-field achievement will be graduating college in 3½ years this December!
WHO IS YOUR BIGGEST INSPIRATION?
My mother is my biggest inspiration, she’s my rock! I want to be able to pay her back for all the sacrifices she made for my brother and I growing up.
WHAT ASPECTS OF YOUR GAME DO YOU THINK HELP YOU SUCCEED THE MOST?
ARE THERE ANY NFL PLAYERS THAT YOU WATCH AND TRY TO MODEL YOURSELF ON?
I’ve always liked Desean Jackson, he’s my favorite player but there’s a couple of other guys that I watch a lot as well like AB, OBJ, Tyreek Hill, Jarvis Landry, T.Y Hilton and John Brown because they are receivers that are all under 6 foot.
IF YOU COULD PLAY ALONGSIDE ANY CURRENT OR FORMER NFL PLAYER, WHO WOULD IT BE?
Randy Moss because to me he’s the best to do it!
ON THAT NOTE, WHO WOULD YOU SAY IS THE BEST PLAYER YOU HAVE EVER PLAYED ALONGSIDE?
I got the chance to play with Lamar Jackson, a Heisman Trophy winner and 1st round draft pick!
YOU ARE COUSINS WITH PITTSBURGH STEELERS LINEBACKER, RYAN SHAZIER. DO YOU EVER TALK TO RYAN AND GET ANY ADVICE FROM HIM?
We talk a lot. He just tells me to make sure I go hard every chance I get!
SO, THIS YEAR’S DRAFT IS REASONABLY DEEP AT WR. WHAT WOULD YOU SAY MAKES YOU STAND OUT AMONG OTHER GUYS?
Outside of being able to stretch the field with my speed, I think my ability to make guys miss after the catch is something that stands out and even though I am “undersized” I’m feisty and not scared to go try to block bigger guys or run across the middle.
IS THERE ANY SPECIFIC TEAM IN THE NFL YOU ARE HOPING TO BE DRAFTED TO?
No, I don’t care where I go! All I need is an opportunity!
WHAT DO YOU WANT OUR READERS TO KNOW ABOUT NEHARI CRAWFORD IF THEY CAN TAKE ONE THING FROM THIS INTERVIEW?
I want the readers to know that Nehari Crawford is a true competitor! I have been overlooked my whole life because of my size, I feel that I’m just as talented as some of the power 5 guys but I just wasn’t fortunate enough to get the opportunity to play at that level. Don’t worry though, I am going to make my presence felt when I get my chance to play for an NFL team!
So that is Nehari Crawford. A tough competitor who is always improving and working hard to get noticed by NFL scouts before next May. Getting a shot at the senior bowl or even a combine invite would go a long way to bumping Crawford up draft boards. With a combine invite, I can honestly see Crawford getting drafted any time after the bottom end of the 4th round. Without one, I could still see him getting his name called, but it would most likely be towards the end of the draft. Even if he doesn’t get drafted, I have no doubt that he will be banging on the door of an NFL franchise and will seize his opportunity once one is given to him.
Feel free to follow me on Twitter @DFF_JamesH for all things football!