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Ken Crawley Primed to Break Out in 2018

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Malcolm who?

Wild Card Round - Carolina Panthers vs New Orleans Saint Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Bleacher Report just published an article predicting one breakout player for each of the 32 NFL teams. For the New Orleans Saints? Cornerback Ken Crawley.

Somehow, Ken Crawley lasted seven rounds without hearing his name during the 2016 draft. So the New Orleans Saints gladly scooped him up as an undrafted free agent. Now after just two seasons it appears they have a high-end starter on their roster.

In 2017, his first season as a starting safety for the Saints, Crawley recorded 17 passes defensed. That ranked among the league’s top 15 and only three behind Jalen Ramsey, the Jaguars’ standout cornerback.

Crawley also excelled where it mattered most by allowing only 16.7 percent of the red-zone throws into his coverage to be caught, per PFF. The next step for him will be to finish plays and create turnovers.

Crawley played in 13 games in 2017, missing time at the start of the season due to playing behind players like De’Vante Harris and then an injury caused Crawley to miss time in the middle of the season. Even still, he was able to finish the year with 17 passes defended as teams were left to target Crawley’s receiver and forego Marshon Lattimore’s side of the field.

While Crawley’s ball skills can still leave a bit to be desired (he only nabbed a single interception in 2017), he was a key piece in helping the rest of the Saints defense around him.