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Falcons UDFA LB Tre’ Crawford gaining early buzz

Here’s the first word we have on a standout from the UDFA pool.

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UAB v Texas A&M Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

In his latest review of where the Atlanta Falcons are at the moment, The Athletic’s Jason Butt dropped a tantalizing hint about one of the team’s undrafted free agents.

Apparently, linebacker Tre’ Crawford has been garnering notices at rookie minicamp.

During rookie minicamp, there was a little buzz surrounding linebacker Tre’ Crawford, who was signed as a priority free agent shortly after the draft concluded. Crawford began his collegiate career at Tyler Junior College in Texas before transferring to UAB. As a senior with the Blazers, Crawford totaled 42 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss and eight sacks. Out of a list of 125 draft-eligible linebackers, The Athletic’s Dane Brugler ranked Crawford 74th in this year’s class. At UAB’s pro day, Crawford posted some impressive numbers with a 42-inch vertical, 19 reps on the bench press and a 4.61-second 40-yard dash time.

If Crawford, or any undrafted player for that matter, is to make the roster, his immediate calling card would be on special teams. Even so, he is one to keep a close eye on.

The mothership’s Will McFadden seemed to agree, calling Crawford one of his five rookie minicamp standouts.

When the offensive line squared up against defensive linemen and pass rusher for a period during Saturday’s minicamp practice, Crawford was a clear winner. Showcasing his great burst off the ball, Crawford won both of his reps off of the edge, including a matchup against first-round pick Kaleb McGary.

The former Alabama-Birmingham linebacker worked in plenty of pass-rush drills and showed he had an aptitude for operating in that role. Given the non-contact nature of minicamp, it’s difficult evaluating some of the defensive players, but Crawford will be one to keep an eye on.

Keep an eye on him, we will.

If you’re getting looks this early, you must be doing something right. The Falcons haven’t really found any success with a UAB alum since Roddy White, but maybe Crawford will break that random streak. As Butt says, special teams would be where he’d make his living early, but if he continues to see his name come up, who knows where this story goes.

The linebacker group looks pretty crowded right now, with guys like Bruce Carter, Duke Riley, Kemal Ishmael and Jermaine Grace competing for the backup spots behind Deion Jones, De’Vondre Campbell and Foyesade Oluokun (not to mention Crawford’s UDFA positional contemporaries).

If he shows flashes of pass rushing ability, it’ll help his case tremendously. This team loves flexibility, after all, and could flex Crawford to edge some if he’s succeeding there.

Regardless of where this goes, it’s a fun little bit of information as we hunker down for the slower part of the offseason. We’ll have minicamp in June, but other than that, it’s about to power down for a while.

If we see Crawford’s name pop back up in the conversation, we’ll let you know, and continue to ruminate what his emergence could mean for the Falcons’ LB group and pass rush.