By Tarik El-Bashir
Late round draft picks only get one chance to make a first impression – and rookie Richard Crawford made a strong opening argument for a spot on the Redskins’ roster Thursday night in Buffalo.
Crawford notched a tackle, a drive-extinguishing interception and defended a pass, building on a strong first two weeks of training camp that’s already opened eyes on the coaching staff.
“It’s important to just to play well every time you’re out there,” Crawford said outside the visitors’ locker room at Ralph Wilson Stadium. “But especially a guy like me, a seventh rounder.”
The 22-year-old also returned three punts for a total of 42 yards, including a pair of 17-yard run backs and an eight yard return.
“I actually do a pretty good job of looking downfield before I get the return and feeling who is around me,” Crawford said. “I knew I had room. My returning is rule is: always make the first guy miss and make something happen, and that’s what I did.”
Crawford is a versatile 5-11, 188 pounder out of SMU who boasts sure hands, decent speed and a strong work ethic that has endeared him to coaches.
Listed on the Redskins’ most recent depth chart as the No. 3 left cornerback behind DeAngelo Hall and Cedric Griffin, Crawford is slowly progressing from training camp hopeful to a player solidly in the mix to earn a roster spot.
He’s competing with Brandyn Thompson, David Jones, Travon Bellamy and Morgan Trent for a backup cornerback job.
“I’m just trying to improve and learn from D-Hall, Josh [Wilson], Ced, anybody I can, even Brandon [Banks] with the returns,” Crawford said. “Any way I can learn and get better, I will.”