Xavier Crawford thinks he could’ve gone higher in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Despite viewing himself as a better prospect than experts and scouts project, the Central Michigan cornerback was selected with the 195th overall pick to the Houston Texans in the sixth round.
He finally accomplished a dream that he once set for himself as a youth football player – back when the helmet was too big for his head; when the shoulder pads spilled over.
“Initially, it was nerve-racking going through the whole process,” Crawford said. “Once my name got called, all of that left my body and it was immediate excitement. At the end of the day, it’s a blessing. I’m going to make the most of the opportunity.”
At the NFL Scouting Combine on March 4, Crawford posted a 4.48-second 40-yard dash, 2.66-second 20-yard dash, 1.62-second 10-yard dash, registered 11 on the bench press and a 37.5 inch vertical.
On March 14, over a week later, Crawford pumped out a 4.37-second 40-yard dash at CMU’s Pro Day.
Crawford had a pre-draft workout with the Texans and even met with them at the NFL Combine. Even though the parties were close heading into the draft, the cornerback had no clue where he’d end up.
But Crawford isn’t surprised that he’s headed to Houston.
“This process can go anywhere, so I didn’t know for sure if that was where I would be,” Crawford said. “But to hear my name called, it was a little less surprising, but at the end of the day, you never really know.”
Crawford’s old teammate, former Oregon State cornerback Treston Decoud, was selected in the fifth round (No. 169 overall) by the Texans in the 2017 NFL Draft. Besides word of mouth from Decoud, Crawford said he’s unsure of what to expect when he starts rookie minicamp on May 3.
Because Crawford doesn’t know anyone on the team and hasn’t ever been to an NFL minicamp, he said excitement and nervousness will clash once he arrives in town.
“I don’t know what to expect other than stories I’ve heard, but you have to experience things for your own,” he said. “It’s more exciting than anything to be back playing football.”
However, Crawford claimed he’s well aware Houston’s push for a Super Bowl. The Texans won two-straight ACF South championships before going 4-12 overall in 2017. Last year, coach Bill O’Brien got Houston back on track with an 11-5 record and a first-place finish in its division.
“This organization is trying to move up and win a Super Bowl, so I’m blessed to be a part of a good team that is ready to compete at a high level,” Crawford said. “To have their goals set on being Super Bowl champions, I’m happy I’m with that organization.”