1. Cromartie up for the challenge
Cromartie, signed by the Bills last Friday, joined the John Murphy Show this week to discuss his NFL career so far, and what he thinks he can bring to the team.
Cromartie grew up in New Orleans, but moved to Texas one day before Hurricane Katrina began to desolate that city. It was quite an adjustment period for Cromartie and his family, but one that the 26-year-old says that he has learned a lot from.
“It was just one of those things where you never know how your life can change in a day. Katrina happened and it turned my life upside down,” Cromartie said. “I know not to take anything for granted because it all can be gone in a second.”
Cromartie finished the last couple of years of high school football in Texas, and went on to play collegiately for Wisconsin. Despite his certainties that he’d be drafted, Cromartie was not taken in the 2013 Draft and ended up signing with the Chargers as an undrafted free agent.
Since then, he has played in 21 games for three different NFL teams.
“I control my work ethic, I control my attitude,” Cromartie said. “I took the situation and I made the best out of it. The journey has been long, but I’m still here. I take pride in that.”
With so much turnover in Buffalo’s secondary, Cromartie has a legitimate chance to make an impact. He spent most of last season at the safety position, but has played plenty of corner and is a key contributor on special teams.
After only a few practices with his Bills teammates, Cromartie has already embraced the competition among the members of the secondary.
“What I like about this team is we push each other. Being here for one day, I felt like I was in a competition,” Cromartie said. “You kind of need that. You need that to beat the monotony of things because obviously it’s April and we aren’t playing a game tomorrow. You have to keep things edgy and I think that’s what we did. We competed on the field with our sprints, in the weight room with our lifts and I liked that. I like that about being here.”
Marcus is related to free agent cornerback Antonio Cromartie and New York Giants cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
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2. Taylor vs. Wilson ranked best QB duel since ‘06
Most Bills fans may remember last year’s Monday night matchup against the Seahawks for the officiating gaffe at the end of the first half, or Buffalo almost pulling off the improbable and winning a primetime game at Seattle. But, according to one media outlet, the play of the two signal callers in that game was the best quarterbacking duel they’ve seen since 2006.
PFF gave its recap of Taylor’s play and how Wilson and the Seahawks were ultimately able to edge the Bills.
“During a Monday Night Football showdown, the highest-graded quarterback matchup in the PFF era featured two of the league’s most dangerous QBs running the football,” John Gatta of PFF wrote. “In this back-and-forth contest, the signal-callers and their offenses exchanged blows throughout the course of the game. Taylor was excellent through the air and on the run, throwing for 289 yards and a TD, while gaining 41 yards on the ground with a rushing TD and two forced missed tackles. This wasn’t enough to take down Seattle, though—Wilson played a near-perfect game, earning the seventh-highest single-game grade in the PFF era (since the 2006 season). He was accurate, effective with the deep ball, and even picked up a rushing TD. No QB matchup in the PFF era had a higher combined grade among QBs than this one.”
Taylor’s 289 yards were his third-highest total in 2016, and his 27 completions were tied for his most in one game on the season.
Remarkably, Taylor also came in at number four on the list for the attempted comeback he led in Week 15 of the 2015 season after the Bills trailed the Redskins 28-3 in the third quarter. He ran for 79 yards on the ground and posted a 129.5 passer rating on deep passes (94 yards and two TDs) as the Bills ultimately lost the game, 35-25.
3. Bills needs met early in latest mock draft
CBS Sports is the latest media outlet to publish a complete mock draft for the Bills, predicting all six of Buffalo’s selections come April.
This mock has the Bills addressing two of its biggest needs, wide receiver and cornerback, in the first two rounds. The mix of offense and defense continues in the later rounds.
Below are all six of CBS’ projections, with the player’s height, weight and 40-yard dash time listed in parentheses.