Is Jared Crick on a Suh-like pace?

It's hard to compare Jared Crick and Ndamukong Suh. OK, it's almost impossible. But since Jared Crick officially came out and said he was coming back, let's do it anyway.

It's not fair, you know. It was never fair. Expecting Jared Crick to pick up where Ndamukong Suh, the most decorated defensive tackle in college football history, left off.

But we expected something. We didn't know what. No, we weren't expecting Suh's stats. We certainly weren't expecting Suh's dominance. I don't know, to be honest. But it was safe to say that Crick had an impossible task in front of him.

I'd say he didn't do too badly.

Following his junior campaign, Crick found himself First-Team All-Big 12 for the second year in a row. He was also voted Second-Team All-American by the Football Writers Association of America.

Following his own junior season, Ndamukong Suh finished First-Team All-Big 12 as well as being Nebraska's MVP, the second consecutive year he won the team honor.

If you want a breakdown of some of the more relevant stats, here's how Crick this last season compared to Suh following his junior campaign:

Player

Tackles

TFLs

Sacks

INTs

Break Ups

Hurries

FF

Blkd Kicks

Ndamukong Suh

76

19-85

7.5

2

3

7

1

2

Jared Crick

70

17-92

9.5

0

2

10

1

0

Just for good measure, the following is what Suh did his senior year, and if you haven't already gotten at least a measure of how incredible his history making year was, just seeing those numbers again still manages to put me in a bit of awe.

Player

Tackles

TFLs

Sacks

INTs

Break Ups

Hurries

FF

Blkd Kicks

Ndamukong Suh

85

24-93

12.0

1

10

26

1

3

Kind of ridiculous, isn't it?

That's why as good of a year as Crick had this last season, we once again don't expect Crick to have that kind of year. We do have to remember that for Suh's greatest season, he had Crick, while Crick has Baker Steinkuhler, who, like Crick, went through a sophomore campaign still learning, while this time it was Crick who was the aged veteran. But you could argue that while Crick isn't Suh, Steinkuhler isn't Crick.

Not yet.

And let's face it, they are different types of players right now. Crick has the build of a DT, while Steinkuhler with his legs which seem a bit too long for the position of DT, can get off the ball fast enough, but one has to wonder if he's a true run stopper like both Suh and Crick could be when needed.

For the record, I am still of the mind that this Steinkuhler would be better served playing on the same side of the ball as his dad. But maybe that's just me.

As it is, you can bet a lot of money that Crick won't have the kind of season Suh had. if he does, you can nominate Carl Pelini, if he happens to be coaching the DTs again this year, for position coach of the decade. Yes, I know he's the DC, but give the guy credit for what he's done at the player level.

There also has to be a consideration given to the move to the Big Ten, which will undoubtedly change what the defensive tackles are doing, how they are doing it, the kind of help they will be getting from the linebackers, etc.

While this is neither here nor there, because Illinois runs a different defense, faced different offenses and all that, the Corey Liuget, a junior this last season, led all Big Ten interior defensive linemen in tackles with 63.Crick's 70 was tops for DTs in the Big 12, as well.

Liuget had six sacks. Crick had 9.5. Liuget had three pass break ups to Crick's two. And both finished with 10 hurries.

Oh, and Liuget's jersey number? 93

Yeah, he's no Suh.

But then again, nobody is, and I think people will have to keep reminding themselves of that fact. It isn't hard to do either as Suh is on pace to win the NFL Rookie of the Year Award as he has just picked up where he left off, leading not just rookie defensive tackles, but all defensive tackles in the league in sacks, as he has 10 for the year. He's also going to be a starter in the Pro Bowl.

Crick isn't Suh, nor should he be.

There's only one Suh, but Crick looks like he's on pace to be pretty darn good.