Good bloodlines are always a favorable attribute to have as an aspiring NFL player. Even though he was signed as an undrafted free agent by the San Diego Chargers this April, Marcus Cromartie certainly has that working for him.
Three of his family members are already in the league with Antonio, Dominique, and Da’Mon. Chargers fans are quite familiar with Antonio from his days with Bolts which can be seen in both a good and a bad light. Although he had his fair share of trouble prior to his trade to the New York Jets, Antonio was a solid contributor in San Diego for four seasons. His spectacular one-handed interception of Peyton Manning has been the highlight of his career thus far during his 10 interception season in 2007.
But bloodlines can only get you so far in the NFL, and Marcus Cromartie is well aware of this. His career with the Wisconsin Badgers shows a player with the arrow clearly pointing up which makes it even more astounding that he wasn’t selected in 254 picks during April’s NFL Draft. Regarding his improvement, Cromartie told FOXSportsWisconsin.com:
“In my career at Wisconsin, you can see major marks of improvement from each year I was there. There was a huge improvement from my third year to my fourth year when I started. A lot of teams, they’ve seen I’m still getting better.”
At his pro day for the Badgers, Cromartie ran a 4.47 and a 4.38 time in the 40-yard dash. His size of 6’0” 195lbs. makes him a nice fit to match-up with some of the bigger, more physical receivers in the league today. The one knock on him coming into the NFL is that his technique needs some work. He has a tendency to get high in his backpedal and his mechanics need some refinement in order to be molded into a starter.
In training camp the Bolts will have a number of guys vying for time in the defensive sub-packages for the upcoming season. Derek Cox figures to be the only player in ink as a starter with Shareece Wright, Johnny Patrick, and rookie Steve Williams all looking for playing time. With Marcus Gilchrist slated to move over to safety for the coming season, Cromartie could find himself right in the mix for some serious playing time as a rookie if he can impress in camp.
Quentin Jammer and Antoine Cason are no longer manning the corners in San Diego, and that means it’s anybody’s guess who will get the lion’s share of the work as an edge defender. If Cromartie can manage to latch on to a roster spot, there’s a really good possibility that he will be seeing a lot of the field during the 2013 season.