I must admit to being caught off guard. I pride myself in having a fairly good knowledge of draft prospects each year, but I had never heard of Crockett Gillmore. I am a big proponent of 'In Ozzie We Trust,' so I chalked it up to another of the under the radar candidates, like Brandon Williams and Lardarius Webb before him. I hadn't heard of them before we drafted them either.
After doing some research, he sounded like a solid prospect, who many fans thought we reached for in the late 3rd round. As the season went along, he cruised under the radar, as an above average blocker who rarely saw a target. But with Pitta done for the season and Daniels battling injuries like usual, Crockett got some opportunities as the season trudged along. He ended the year with 10 receptions (15 targets) for 121 yards and a touchdown, plus another 30 yards and a touchdown in the playoffs. Ravens fans liked what they saw, albeit in limited opportunities. He graded very well for a rookie tight end, a notoriously hard position for rookies:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">The only rookie TE in the NFL to finish '14 with a positive grade (min 100 snaps) was Baltimore's <a href="https://twitter.com/CrockettG7">@CrockettG7</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Ravens?src=hash">#Ravens</a> <a href="http://t.co/e2tbmUlVcH">pic.twitter.com/e2tbmUlVcH</a></p>— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) <a href="https://twitter.com/PFF/status/613321457104474112">June 23, 2015</a></blockquote>
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Now 2015 is here- Owen Daniels is in Denver, and Pitta is an uncertainty for the team. Crockett is the top dawg for the Ravens at the position, although the team invested heavily in the draft, trading up in the 2nd round for Maxx Williams and snagging Nick Boyle in the 5th round. Neither is the blocker that Gillmore is. Gillmore reported 15 pounds heavier this year, and has shown increased power and strength at a cut 275 lbs this season.
The 6"6 tight end out of Colorado State has also shown great hands in camps so far, especially in training camp. No stranger to the football, Gillmore was a receiving machine at Bushland High School, catching over 1000 yards and 22 touchdowns in his Senior year alone. He also played basketball before. The Ravens are seeing this version of Gillmore, with him making spectacular catches all over the field and being prominent in the red zone drills. No one is expecting Gronk or Jimmy Graham, but many of us are very excited for his next step.
The time is now, and Crockett is ready to break out to the world. Looking forward to seeing what he can do!