By Chadd Cripe
© 2012 Idaho Statesman
Boise State defensive linemen Tyrone Crawford and Chase Baker have inserted an unusual piece into their NFL Draft prep — jujitsu.
Crawford, an end expected to land in the first half of the draft, and Baker, a tackle who is a late-round possibility, are training together in Saline, Mich.
“Chase is doing a lot better (with jujitsu) than me,” Crawford said Wednesday. “It helps mentally, huge. It’s been helping my hands and my feet and my change of direction a lot. We work on a whole variety of things in there.”
Crawford credits the martial art and other training he received in Michigan for his strong showing at the NFL Scouting Combine, where he worked out Monday. He plans to re-run his 40-yard dash March 22 at pro day, but he posted a top 10 time in the first 10 yards — a sign of quickness and explosiveness, which are critical to linemen.
“We’ve been focusing a lot on my explosion, my power,” he said. “I’ve heard from a lot of teams that sometimes I need to get that better get-off (time). A lot of it is reaction, but some of it is power, too.”
Crawford ran the 40-yard dash in 4.89 seconds, which tied for 17th out of 49 linemen. His goal was the low 4.7s and he thought he had a chance to crack the 4.6s.
“I had a good 10. I’ve just got to work on that last 20 yards,” he said. “We’ve been working on that. I have some plans for it. Hopefully I can run a lot better time at the pro day.”
Crawford also will re-test in the bench press. He completed 28 reps at 225 pounds, which tied for 18th. He wanted to crack the 30s.
Crawford finished in the top 18 among linemen in all but one event (the 20-yard shuttle) at the combine. He tied for ninth in the three-cone drill.
“I feel like it went very well, actually,” he said.
He had formal meetings with 14 teams and met informally with another eight or nine. He also met with teams at the East-West Shrine Game.
“Thank God that my record was clean for the most part and I was pretty healthy, so that part went well,” he said. “Then we got to the film and they liked the way I played and had a motor on me and didn’t stop. They liked that they could watch a full game and couldn’t pick a play I took off. They liked the way I collapsed the pocket. I came out of the meetings and went into the meetings pretty confident. It was pretty exciting.”
Crawford also is the No. 2-ranked prospect for the Canadian Football League draft in May. He doesn’t plan to pursue that opportunity.
“For me, it’s an honor to be drafted in my country’s professional football league, but I’m going to continue on this NFL route,” he said.