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Scout's Take: Jamison Crowder like Steelers' Antonio Brown

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Whenever scouts convene for draft meetings to discuss the top prospects in college football, general managers and coaches will ask evaluators to provide a pro comparison for each player. Although the comparison is loosely based on similar physical dimensions and style of play, the idea is to provide decision makers with a vivid image of a player's potential impact at the next level. Given the influence these comparisons have on the initial opinions of decision makers, it is important for scouts to tag an intriguing prospect with a Pro Bowl-caliber player to ensure a positive impression on general managers and coaches early in the evaluation process.


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After taking an extended look at Duke senior WR Jamison Crowder against North Carolina on Thursday night, I believe scouts around the league would be wise to use Pro Bowl WR Antonio Brown as the pro comparison in meetings.

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Now, I certainly understand the lofty expectations that come with linking Crowder to Brown, a two-time Pro Bowler and current NFL receiving leader, but Crowder is one of the most polished receivers in college football, and his explosive combination of skills could make him a star at the next level.

From his patience and precision as a route runner to his strong hands and impeccable ball skills, Crowder exhibits all of the qualities scouts look for in a dynamic slot receiver. He flashes a keen sense of timing on option routes and double moves, which makes him nearly impossible to defend between the hashes. Crowder also shows excellent stop-start quickness and running skills with the ball in his hands, making him a threat to pick up "chunk" yards on quick slants and crossing routes over the middle.

As a pass catcher, Crowder shows strong hands and natural ball skills snatching the ball in traffic. Despite being just 5-9, 176 pounds, he wins his fair share of 50-50 balls down the field, and his ability to wrestle the ball away from big-bodied cornerbacks makes him a viable threat in the red zone. Given the importance of putting the ball in the paint, Crowder's 22 career TD receptions will earn him high marks from teams looking for playmakers.

One aspect that could enhance Crowder's draft profile in meetings is his exceptional return skills. He has three career punt return touchdowns and averages 10.9 yards a return. Those numbers are enough to entice a team to consider Crowder as a legitimate return specialist candidate, guaranteeing a spot on the active roster on game day.

With Brown ascending quickly from a returner to Pro Bowl receiver, NFL decision makers could use a similar blueprint to help Crowder develop into an impact player at the next level.

Follow Bucky Brooks on Twitter @BuckyBrooks.

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