Named as a preseason Playboy All-American and first team preseason All-American by The Sporting News, Cromartie was ranked as the No. 2 defensive back in the nation prior to the 2005 season. But he sustained a torn anterior cruciate ligament during the pre-season and sat out the entire year.
Still, Cromartie has a rare combination of size (6-foot-2, 208 pounds) and speed (4.47 time in the 40) and shows good football instincts, according to scouts. Some around FSU have called him the best athlete in the program since Deion Sanders.
Expect the Packers to select a cornerback in the draft, likely with one of their top picks. Green Bay is not thrilled with starter Ahmad Carroll and depth at the position is shallow at best. Whether the Packers want to take a chance on Cromartie remains to be seen, though, a number of teams are thoroughly evaluating him.
Cromartie's agent Jason Fletcher said that his client has already visited 13 NFL teams. His upcoming visits include Washington Redskins, Dallas Cowboys, Kansas City Chiefs, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions and the Packers.
The knee injury does represent a risk, which is probably why so many teams want to take a further look. Scout.com reported that he could have played in the Orange Bowl against Penn State, but the Seminole coaches nixed the idea. His performance in the Combine and Florida State's Pro Day this spring backs up the assessment that he is at or near 100% healthy, according to Scout.com.
In fact, Cromartie's draft stock is rising, according to some experts, and he may be selected in the first round. Moving up or acquiring another selection that's early enough to nab Cromartie have to be considered possibilities for Packers general manager Ted Thompson, who is noted for making such moves.
Here is more on Cromartie from TFY Draft Preview:
Ht: 6-2 Wt: 208 40 time: 4.51 Year: 3Jr
Bio: Missed the entire 2005 season after injuring a knee in the pre-season. All-Conference selection the prior year with 22/4/6. Saw extensive playing time as a true freshman, posting 19/1/2.
Positives: Natural cover corner who shuts down opponents. Physical, sized well and jams opponents at the line. Mirrors receivers down the field and offers blanket coverage. Flips his hips in transition, quickly gets his head back around and immediately locates the ball. Aggressive in run defense.
Negatives: Lacks quick and fluid footwork in reverse. Slow reacting to receivers' moves.
Analysis: A junior who entered the season with high grades before his knee injury, Cromartie offers terrific upside for the next level. Will see playing time as a rookie if given a clean bill of health.