November 25, 2016

Highlighted Year: Derrick Crawford, 1984

Wide Receiver, Memphis Showboats



Age: 23
1st season in pro football
College: Memphis State
Height: 5’10” Weight: 185

Prelude:
Crawford caught 63 passes for 1117 yards (17.7 avg.) and five touchdowns and averaged 21.3 yards on 45 kickoff returns in college. The Showboats took him in the 1984 USFL territorial draft and he proved to be productive as both the team’s top pass receiver as well as a kick returner.

1984 Season Summary
Appeared in all 18 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Pass Receiving
Receptions – 61 [13]          
Most receptions, game – 6 (for 21 yds.) at Los Angeles 4/14, (for 86 yds.) at Tampa Bay 6/9, (for 52 yds.) vs. Birmingham 6/16
Yards – 703
Most yards, game – 86 (on 6 catches) at Tampa Bay 6/9
Average gain – 11.5
TDs – 12 [4]

Rushing
Attempts – 13
Yards – 27
Average gain – 2.1
TDs – 0

Kickoff Returns
Returns – 47 [1]
Yards – 1237 [1]
Most yards, game – 152 (on 4 ret.) at Oakland 5/19
Average per return – 26.3 [1]
TDs – 1 [1, tied with Clarence Verdin & Greg Taylor]
Longest return – 97 yards

Punt Returns
Returns – 3
Yards – -1
Average per return – -0.3
TDs – 0
Longest return – 1 yard

Scoring
TDs – 13 [9, tied with four others]
Points – 78

Awards & Honors:
1st team All-USFL: League, Sporting News, Pro Football Weekly, College & Pro Football Newsweekly

Showboats went 7-11 to finish fourth in the USFL Southern Division.  

Aftermath:
Crawford followed up in 1985 with 70 catches for 1057 yards (15.1 avg.) and 9 touchdowns. He was used less for returning kickoffs, averaging 23.9 yards on 11 returns, but had a touchdown among his eight punt returns. With the demise of the USFL, Crawford signed with the 49ers, who had selected him in the 1984 NFL supplemental draft, for 1986. He caught just five passes as a backup wide receiver and averaged 18.7 yards on 15 kickoff returns in his one year in San Francisco. Crawford later moved on to the CFL where he spent four seasons with the Calgary Stampeders, catching 174 passes for 3026 yards and 27 TDs. His best seasons came in 1990, when he gained 1096 yards on 57 pass receptions that included 11 touchdowns and he received All-Western Division recognition and 1993, when he again caught 57 passes for 1007 yards and 10 TDs. Crawford’s career ended with a three-game stint with Birmingham in ’95. Overall in the USFL, Crawford had 131 catches for 1760 yards and 21 touchdowns and averaged 25.9 yards on 58 kickoff returns.

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Highlighted Years features players who were consensus first-team All-League* selections or league* or conference** leaders in the following statistical categories:

Rushing: Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Passing: Yards, Completion Pct., Yards per Attempt, TDs, Rating
Receiving: Catches, Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Scoring: TDs, Points, Field Goals (min. 5)
All-Purpose: Total Yards
Defense: Interceptions, Sacks
Kickoff Returns: Average
Punt Returns: Average
Punting: Average

*Leagues include NFL (1920 to date), AFL (1926), AFL (1936-37), AAFC (1946-49), AFL (1960-69), WFL (1974-75), USFL (1983-85)

**NFC/AFC since 1970

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