2006 Draft Preview: Antonio Cromartie

In his continuing series on prospects the Seahawks will be looking at in April's NFL Draft, .NET's Ryan Rigmaiden looks at a standout corner who is recovering from a knee injury. Florida State's Antonio Cromartie is one of the most athletic cornerbacks to come out of college since Charles Woodson.

4. Antonio Cromartie, CB Florida State 6-2, 200 (4.42)

NFL Comparison - Chris Gamble, Carolina

Overview -

Has awesome size, but only limited experience. Received playing time as a freshman and sophomore, but tore his ACL before his first game last year and didn't play a snap. Is very raw and needs to work on many aspects of his game. Has tremendous size, speed and big play ability. Ran a 4.42 40 at the Combine only months after his knee surgery. Also saw some time as a wide receiver for the Seminoles. Was at the top of the cornerback rankings before this season and was projected to be a top-10 pick before the knee injury. Can return kicks, but teams will probably shy away from that because of his knee injury.

Against the Pass -

Has great athleticism despite his big size. Can turn and run with almost any WR and can redirect receivers at the line-of-scrimmage. Has decent instincts for a player that has seen limited playing time. Needs to work on all intelligence factors of the game: route recognition, offensive tendencies, etc, but that will come in time.

Against the Run -

Doesn't hesitate sacrificing his body in the running game. It's only natural that he'll be protective of his knee when he first sees contact again, but that should fade quickly.

Roster Impact for Seattle -

Cromartie has the most upside of any corner in this Draft and could very well be the best of this bunch in a couple of years. He has elite size, speed and athleticism and would be a good fit for any team, but definitely fits the mold for Seattle's defense. He'd be a much better matchup vs. some of the NFC West's taller receivers (Anquan Boldin, Larry Fitzgerald and Torry Holt) and has the potential to start if his knee is fully-healed.

Final Analysis-

While his recent knee injury will definitely raise red flags for some teams, it's obvious that Cromartie's worked his butt off up until this point. His intangibles make him very special and some team will take the chance at him late in Round 1. Some teams may even give Cromartie a "red-shirt year" and bring him along very slowly to ensure that he's completely healed because his long-term potential is so great.

As usual, any questions or comments can be sent to rlrigmaiden@hotmail.com. Thanks for taking the time to write in.


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