Here’s the scouting report from last year on Antonio Cromartie from ESPN.com:
Cromartie is an excellent athlete who was hindered by a hip injury for a good portion of the 2008 season. He has the size and speed to be a shut down CB in the league and can make plays on the ball like few other players in the league.
He is very fluid through hips. He can turn and run with good burst and acceleration. He has exceptional recovery skills when healthy and he uses his long arms well to intercept or break up plays. When he gets his hands on the ball he can make big plays happen in the opposite direction due to his experience as punt returner.
He has enough size and strength to match up well with big and physical receivers, but he is also quick enough mirror routes of quick players. If he stays healthy, Cromartie has Pro Bowl ability and will be considered one of the leagues elite cover men for years to come.
At 6-2 and 203 lbs. he’s just the kind of corner the Jets have been looking for since adding Revis in 2007, a larger player who can muscle up with some big talent … but also play with a smaller guy should teams try to mismatch him. It’s not to say that Darrelle can’t play those big guys too, he did it well in 2009, but it’s more about being ready for any given receiving corps and how opponents match that second corner. Cromartie allows them to add some beef and versatility to their secondary.
Size is something that the Jets have coveted for a few years now out of their secondary, but had a tough time finding. During the 2008 Draft, the Jets were close on Tyvon Branch and Justin King, both six footers, and missed out by one pick. With no corner of interest on the board right there, they moved back a few slots and then took Dwight Lowery. It’s not to say that Lowery was a guy they didn’t like, I just think they liked other guys out there better for their needs.
Cromartie’s physical abilities are limitless, but it’s going to come down to his focus. Rex will tell him what’s expected and it’s up to Cromartie to focus and deliver.