In the Patriots’ Week 6 win over the Saints, HC Bill Belichick elected to his use best cornerback, Aqib Talib, to mark New Orleans tight end Jimmy Graham. It was clearly Graham’s worst game of the year, as the prolific tight end did not register a target, let alone a catch, in the game. That’s quite the contrast from his other six games this season, in which he has caught 40 balls for 630 yards and eight touchdowns.
So how might Gang Green try to counter the superstar tight end? It might use its own tall cornerback: the 6-2 Antonio Cromartie. While Cromartie normally covers the opponent’s top receiver, Graham may very well be that despite being a tight end.
“It’s a thought,” Jets HC Ryan said. “I think from a size and skill-wise (standpoint), yeah I think he could handle it. But that guy is a unique cat now. Graham has the speed of a receiver (and) the size of an offensive tackle.”
The difference here is that Talib is having a great season, while Cromartie has been struggling mightily in coverage. The strategy wouldn't change our ranking of Graham.