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Is Cromartie another Deion Sanders ?

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Trumpet_Man, Apr 18, 2006.

  1. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man New Member

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    FSU's Cromartie draws Deion comparisons
    Updated 4/17/2006 11:27 PM ET
    By Skip Wood, USA TODAY

    It's difficult, if not altogether ridiculous, to make a case that cornerback Antonio Cromartie was a gamble when he signed with Florida State three years ago. After all, we're talking about a lad who was named USA TODAY's national defensive player of the year his final season at Tallahassee's Lincoln High.
    Even so, Seminoles coaches had a wee bit of concern. Listen to longtime FSU defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews: "When we signed him, he weighed maybe 175 pounds —maybe. And when he got here, he was maybe 185 pounds —maybe."

    But immediately after arriving on campus, Cromartie did everything and anything requested of him.

    "Weights, running, overall conditioning — everything," Andrews said. "Not just because he had to, but because he really and truly wanted to do whatever it took to make himself better. He understood, you know? Some guys get it and some guys don't."

    And now? Cromartie packs 210 pounds on his 6-3 frame, and despite missing all of last season with a serious knee injury, is among the more notable cornerbacks available in next weekend's NFL Draft.

    "I don't see anything but great things ahead for him because of his talent but also his great attitude," Andrews said. "I think this is a guy who's got 'can't miss' stamped all over him."

    Cromartie simply wants to get back on the field.

    "I feel like I don't have any pressure on me right now," he said. "Just go out and do what I've always done, and that's just play football."

    He didn't do any of that last season, though. The summer after being named a first-team, All-Atlantic Coast Conference pick, he tore the ACL in his left knee during a voluntary workout.

    "I ... was going up for an interception," Cromartie said, "and I came down wrong."

    But the surgery and subsequent rehabilitation process went about as well as could be imagined. Meanwhile, however, family financial problems and other medical issues began to weigh on Cromartie, and that's the primary reason he decided to forfeit his final two years of eligibility.

    "For me, when I grew up, I was always in the projects," he said. "So it was money — it was always a problem for us familywise. But I feel like (now that) I'm taking on this opportunity now, we won't have any financial problems for the rest of our lives."

    That wouldn't surprise NFL Draft expert Gil Brandt.

    "He's a Deion Sanders-type athlete," Brandt said, referring to another former Seminole. "It seems like this guy can do everything, just like Deion did."

    Andrews, who coached both players, chuckled when told of Brandt's assessment.

    "Well, I guess I'd have to say the same thing," he said. "And I'll tell you, I'm not so sure he couldn't be a receiver."

    Had Cromartie remained at FSU, that might have been something for head coach Bobby Bowden to ponder.

    As it is, Andrews is left to ponder something else — and not necessarily what one might assume.

    "To me, the worst thing is not losing a great player," he said. "When a kid leaves early, well, some come back and some don't (to complete their degree). That's just the way it goes. And with a player like Cro', well, you don't normally see too many millionaires in the classroom taking notes."

    Find this article at:
    http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/draft/2006-04-17-usat-defensive-backs-cromartie_x.htm
     
  2. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man New Member

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    This guy has been mentioned as a potential Chargers target. The upside on this dude is certainly eye popping by all reads.

    The more I read about him - the more I like.
     
  3. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man New Member

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    Antonio Cromartie

    Height: 6-2 1/8 | Weight: 208 | 40-Time: 4.41

    Official Bio

    Strengths:

    A tremendous natural athlete...Exceptionally fast for a guy of his dimensions...Has outstanding size with long arms...Has great hands and ball skills...Has a knack for coming away with the big play and interception...Has fluid hips and is a pure cover man...Physical and will support the run...A threat to score every time he gets his hands on the ball...Is also a good return man...Proved to be a game changer during his short career with the Noles and came through with a number of impact plays...Has a ton of upside and hasn't even begun to reach his vast potential.

    Weaknesses:

    Is coming off of a knee injury...Has only played in 25 total games and has very little starting experience...Very raw and his footwork and technique will need development...Needs to be more consistent...Is not a great tackler...Aggressive and will take too many risks at times...A project who has a high risk factor and his selection will be made mostly based on promise rather than actual production.

    Notes:

    Tore the ACL in his left knee in July and missed the entire 2005 season...Was a member of the FSU track team that won the ACC Championship in 2004...If his knee checks out okay in exams and he works out like he is capable of there is no reason why this guys stock won't soar leading up to the draft...A rare prospect who might have been a Top 5 overall pick in 2007 had he gone back to school.
     
  4. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man New Member

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    Analysis by position: Cornerbacks

    Position-by-position: CB ·

    By Gil Brandt
    NFL.com Senior Analyst

    http://nfl.com/draft/analysis/expert/brandt/cb

    (April 17, 2006) -- How important are cornerbacks in the NFL? On March 4, 2005, the Carolina Panthers gave Ken Lucas $8.4 million to sign as a free agent with an additional $4.5 million due this year. That same day, the Cleveland Browns signed Gary Baxter with a $9 million signing bonus. One day earlier, on March 3, the Dallas Cowboys gave Anthony Henry $10 million to sign with an additional $2 million in roster bonuses.

    Because of the one-back and multiple-receiver sets, teams feel it's important to have three cornerbacks on the field a high percentage of the time in order to match up against all the fast receivers. Some teams played three cornerbacks as much as 65 percent of the time, with the league average being about 57 percent of the time.


    SIZE AND SPEED

    Due to the increasing number of tall receivers in the NFL, height has become an important factor in drafting cornerbacks. Of the 40 receivers at this year's Scouting Combine, the average height was 6-foot-1 1/8 and the average weight was 205 pounds. Thirteen receivers were 6-2 or taller. The average speed of the 54 defensive backs (cornerbacks and safeties) was 4.52 in the 40-yard dash with an average vertical jump of 38 inches. Tye Hill of Clemson was the fastest defensive back with a 40 time of 4.30. Nine players ran 4.40 or under in the 40.
    In 1996 and 1997, we had 33 cornerbacks selected in the first three rounds. In the last two drafts (2004 and 2005), that number increased to 42. Nine of the 42 were selected in the first round compared to seven in the 1996 and 1997 drafts combined. Over the past 10 NFL drafts, 40 cornerbacks have been selected in the first round and 133 have been picked in rounds two and three. Only one position -- wide receiver with 45 -- has had more first-round picks over this period.

    The feeling around the league is that you can never have too many good cornerbacks, especially considering how the game is played these days. In the 2005 draft, the Broncos' first three picks were cornerbacks. In the 2002 draft, the Eagles drafted cornerbacks in the first two rounds, even though both of the Eagles' corners (Bobby Taylor and Troy Vincent) were selected to the Pro Bowl the previous season.

    In 2004, the top two players in the NFL's salary-cap numbers were cornerbacks Antoine Winfield ($12.4 million) and Ty Law ($9.6 million), cap numbers that were higher that year than Brett Favre ($9,533,333) and Peyton Manning ($8,301,666).

    Here are my rankings for cornerbacks.

    1. Michael Huff, Texas (6-0, 204, 4.37)
    Huff had a complete workout at the Combine. He ran two 40s in 4.34 and 4.37. He had a 40½-inch vertical jump, a 10-foot-5 long jump and did 21 bench presses. He ran a 3.96 short shuttle and 6.68 three-cone drill on March 22 at the Texas Pro Day. Huff played safety, cornerback and wide receiver in high school and also ran track. He finished seventh in the 100 meters at the 2000 Junior Nationals. Huff was redshirted at Texas in 2001 but started 50 games during the next four years and earned the Jim Thorpe Award after the 2005 season. He can play corner or safety in the NFL. He played mostly strong safety at Texas and returned four interceptions for touchdowns during his career -- a school record. He has great versatility, is an outstanding blitzer with great instincts and reactions, will tackle, and has awareness and recovery speed. Huff should start his first year and play at a high level for a long time. He is smart with great character. He has a brother, Marcus King, who completed a four-year career at Missouri and most likely will be signed as a free agent by some team.

    2. Jimmy Williams, Virginia Tech (6-2 3/8, 213, 4.46)
    Williams did not work out at the Combine but did everything at his Pro Day on March 16. He ran his two 40s in 4.41 and 4.46 on a fast surface. He had a 33-inch vertical jump, a 9-foot-8 long jump, and did 12 bench presses. He ran a 4.15 short shuttle and a 6.69 three-cone drill. Williams played quarterback, wide receiver, safety and linebacker in high school and made all-district for two years in basketball. He played but did not start as a true freshman at Virginia Tech in 2002, then started at free safety in 2003 and at cornerback in 2004 and 2005. Williams plays very aggressively, is physical with good instincts and range and has good closing speed on receivers. He is a very good blitzer and can play press coverage. He does not seem to always be focused and will take chances and get beat. His hands are not real good with eight interceptions in three years. Williams could become an outstanding player or could make you wonder why you drafted him. He needs to improve his attitude.

    3. Antonio Cromartie, Florida State (6-2 1/8, 208, 4.49)
    Cromartie had a complete workout at the Combine, running his 40s in 4.47 and 4.52 with tight legs. He had a 38-inch vertical jump and an 11-foot long jump. He worked out again on March 16 at Florida State's Pro Day and ran 4.43 and 4.46 in the 40 with a 3.98 short shuttle and a 7.03 three-cone drill. Cromartie played wide receiver and cornerback in high school, was a star sprinter on the track team and started for the basketball team. He was the USA Today Defensive Player of the Year after his senior year in high school. Cromartie played as a true freshman at Florida State in 2003. He played as a nickelback in 2004 and missed all of 2005 with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. Cromartie is a big cornerback with great ball skills and has exceptional athletic ability for his size. He is a young player, turning 22 years old this April. He has the talent to be a Pro Bowl player, but there are questions about whether he is too big to play corner and will the knee injury affect his play in the future.


    4. Tye Hill, Clemson (5-9 5/8, 185, 4.33)
    Hill had a complete workout at the Combine but did not lift. He ran his two 40s in 4.30 and 4.35, had a 41-inch vertical jump and a 10-foot-9 long jump. He ran a 4.01 short shuttle and a 6.63 three-cone drill. Hill was a running back in high school and the state champion in the 100 meters. He has run track at Clemson and won ACC titles in the 60 meters indoors and the 100 meters outdoors. He was redshirted in 2001 at Clemson and played running back in 2002. He moved to cornerback in 2003 and started the next three years. Hill has outstanding speed and acceleration for the position, but his hands are not real good (and are small at 8 3/8 inches). He will tackle and had 21 pass breakups in 2005 with three interceptions. He is said to have marginal practice habits and there is some question about his love for the game. He plays a lot like Darrent Williams, a second-round pick by the Denver Broncos last year, but he does not return kicks.

    INSIDE THE SCOUTS
    What scouts look for when grading linebackers:

    Critical factors
    1. Character
    2. Ability to learn football
    3. Competitive toughness
    4. Work habits
    5. Athletic ability

    Position specifics
    1. Man cover ability
    2. Zone cover ability
    3. Backpedal
    4. Break from backpedal
    5. Run support
    6. Tackling ability
    7. Closing quickness
    8. Deep acceleration
    9. Play the ball

    5. Jason Allen, Tennessee (6-0 7/8, 209, 4.44)
    Allen ran and jumped at the Combine, but he did not do field drills because of an injured hip. He ran his two 40s in 4.39 and 4.47, had a 39½-inch vertical jump, 10-foot-11 long jump, 3.81 short shuttle and 6.75 three-cone drill. He did position drills on March 15 at Tennessee's Pro Day. Allen was a high school running back in Alabama and was named the Alabama Player of the Year in 2001. He played as a true freshman at Tennessee in 2002 as a defensive back and played both cornerback and free safety in 2003 and 2004. He suffered a dislocated hip against Georgia in the sixth game of 2005 and missed the rest of the season. Allen has the size and speed to play the cornerback position. He has good ball skills, will tackle and has good change of direction. He has had a history of injuries with surgeries on both his shoulders and hip. If he can't play corner, he will be able to play safety. He is a good player if healthy................................
     
  5. AnteaterCharger

    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    one negative, i've heard he has a real deion sanders attitude to match his ability
     
  6. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man New Member

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    I have heard it is the lack of solid tackling skills and not the Deion attitude....
     

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