Antonio Cromartie confident at WR

Updated: August 1, 2012, 11:40 AM ET
By Jane McManus | ESPNNewYork.com

CORTLAND, N.Y. -- Antonio Cromartie has gotten one rep as a wide receiver at training camp, but the New York Jets cornerback already ranks himself as the second best receiver on the team's roster.

"I think I'd put myself as second," Cromartie said on "ESPN First Take" on Tuesday. "I haven't really played it in the past four or five years, but I can put myself as the second just with raw ability and talent going out there, I think, me separating and being a more physical guy out there on the outside."

The team's No. 1 wide receiver is clearly Santonio Holmes, a former Super Bowl MVP with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The only other receiver on the team who has any tenure with starting quarterback Mark Sanchez is tight end Dustin Keller.

So what about the other wideouts, such as promising rookie Stephen Hill, free-agent addition Chaz Schilens or Jeremy Kerley, the second-year punt returner in the team's doghouse?

"Kerley is a more of a slot receiver; he's a slot guy," Cromartie said. "Stephen Hill is a younger guy that can get down the field. I think, for me, I can run every single route in the route tree. I'm not going to take anything away from my ability, so when you ask me that question, I'm going to say, yes, I believe I'm one of the best receivers on the football team, next to Santonio Holmes."

Cromartie has been used on a go route, his quickness and height used to stretch the field. It's a role he played in a game last season.

At the start of training camp, Jets coach Rex Ryan said players had to be more versatile this year, and said not to be surprised to see Cromartie at wideout.

Braylon Edwards, a former Jet who had developed chemistry with Sanchez in his two seasons with the team, signed with the Seattle Seahawks on Tuesday. General manager Mike Tannenbaum would not rule out the possibility of going out to get a veteran, although the team showed no interest in Edwards.

Instead, Tannenbaum continued his tradition of talking up a longshot, extoling seventh-round draft pick Jordan Hill, who was just activated from the PUP list Monday. Kerley has been limited by a hamstring injury, but Ryan has said he's more concerned about his ability to learn the offense brought in by new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano.

Jane McManus has covered New York sports since 1998 and began covering football just before Brett Favre's stint with the Jets. Her work has appeared in Newsday, USA Today, The Journal News and The New York Times. Follow Jane on Twitter.

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