Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Giants Training Camp: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie Wowing Teammates

DRC = Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie

On the heels of a shutdown campaign with Denver in 2013, the Giants rewarded cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie with a handsome five-year $35 million deal during free agency. In examining Rodgers-Cromartie’s statistics from last year, it’s not hard to imagine why Jerry Reese was saturated with confidence: 67.8 NFL QB Rating against, 44.6% completions in his vicinity and a 13.0 overall Pro Football Focus grade (5th). Elite coverage skills.

However, the 28-year old’s path (back) to the top hasn’t been devoid of bumps in the road. Rodgers-Cromartie was operating on a one-year $5 million contract in ’13 for a reason — he earned a composite -25.7 PFF rating between 2010-2012. Upon being traded to Philadelphia in 2011, the Eagles utilized DRC as a nickel-slot corner… talk about poor role allocation. He failed miserably, to the tune of 2.68 yards per slot coverage snap (worst in the NFL).

Don’t call him an Eagle

Those two tumultuous seasons in Philadelphia are a thing of the past. The Giants plan to unleash Rodgers-Cromartie’s physical gifts, not restrict them. The player they saw with the Eagles is not the player who will be ballhawking LCB for the next five years.

DRC knocked the socks off of NFL scouts at the 2008 Draft Combine with his 4.29 forty-yard dash. His new teammates in New York are now witnessing the ‘wow factor’ of his athletic prowess first hand at training camp:

“I’ve never played with a guy, and i’ve played with some incredible athletes, whose first step is that lightning quick.” — Steve Weatherford

“Watching a guy like DRC work, I mean you could put him out in a field in Alaska, and he’d cover whoever you ask him to. I mean he’s that skilled of an individual.” — Mathias Kiwanuka

Back in 2011, former Eagles corner Brandon Hughes took it one step further and proclaimed that Rodgers-Cromartie had “Hall of Fame ability”:

“You don’t get too many guys that can cut, break, quick as a cat, with ball skills,” Hughes said. “He can press you, he can play off . . . He really doesn’t lack a skill that you need to be successful at corner.”

So there’s your Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie scouting report. Hall of fame, huh? Well, the Jints did just watch Michael Strahan get his rightful induction, so perhaps it’s time for the team to start working on some new Canton resumes outside of Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning. It’s football season and the Giants will need that wow level of play from somewhere to collect W’s. Get your popcorn ready, Giants Nation.

DRC is here.

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie

Credit: NFL Game Rewind (2013, Week 16)

 

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