Former University of Wisconsin cornerback Marcus Cromartie thought he deserved a spot at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis last month.
When he was bypassed, he decided to funnel his disappointment into his performance at UW’s pro day on Wednesday.
That approach worked, with Cromartie running a best time of 4.35 seconds in the 40-yard dash, which is believed to be the fastest time posted among the eight players who took part in that event.
“I was excited,” said Cromartie, a two-year starter for the Badgers. “I felt like I deserved to be at the combine, just based on how I ended the season. I just had to focus on this day and doing my best. I think I did.”
Cromartie’s time is likely to open a few eyes in the scouting community, especially since he stands taller than 6 feet and weighs about 200 pounds. That fits the prototype of what the NFL is looking for these days in terms of big cornerbacks.
“I knew I was going to shock people, because I heard they were thinking I was going to run 4.55 and a lot of other things,” Cromartie said. “I know what my speed was.”
In addition to the NFL looking for big corners who can knock receivers off routes at the line of scrimmage, the position continues to gain importance with so much emphasis on the passing game.
“When you’ve got players like (the Green Bay Packers’) Aaron Rodgers and (the Detroit Lions’ Matthew) Stafford that are going to throw the ball 40 times a game, you have to have five great DBs on the field,” Cromartie said.