Patrick Peterson: 2011 NFL Draft Prospects
Cornerback Patrick Peterson (H: 6’1″ – W: 222 – College: LSU)
Louisiana State University cornerback Patrick Peterson, winner of the 2010 Bednarick Award (Nation’s best defender) and Thorpe Award (Nation’s best defensive back), is one of the most dynamic and electrifying players in the 2011 NFL Draft. A consensus All-American in 2010, Peterson is an excellent kick returner, finishing fourth in the nation in punt return average (16.1) and ninth in the nation in kick return average (29.1). Incredibly, he totaled 114.2 yards per game (56th in the nation) playing primarily as a non-offensive player.
Peterson played running back and defensive back while at Ely High School in Pompano Beach, Florida. He was rated the No. 5 prospect by Rivals and the No. 8 prospect by ESPN in 2008. He originally had committed to the University of Miami but decided later in the process to open up his recruitment, ultimately selecting LSU.
Although he did play in 13 games in his freshman year, it wasn’t until his sophomore year in 2009 that Peterson came into his own. He was named a Second-Team All-American by the Sporting News and a First-Team All-SEC player by ESPN.
There was a ton of hype for Peterson entering his junior year. In the season-opener, the hype reached a boiling point when Peterson amassed a school-record 257 return yards against the University of North Carolina, 244 of those yards coming in the first half.
Peterson enters the 2011 NFL Draft with very little to prove and is definitely one of the most highly-touted defensive back prospects to enter the NFL in many years.
Strengths: Playmaker. Game-changer. Perfect size for a NFL cornerback, great speed considering his frame. Versatile player, can return kicks and has experience playing offense. Excels in press coverage. Strong enough and big enough to knock receivers off their route. Great body control when leaping, able to get after the ball in mid-air. Fluid motions, good transitions, good backpedal. Great tackler, not afraid of contact. Fast enough to not allow separation. Related to Bryant McFadden, Santana and Sinorice Moss. Terrific man-to-man defender.
Weaknesses: Not instinctive at times, relies on athleticism to get him out of trouble. Needs to improve zone coverage. Read-and-react ability is lacking. Needs to keep his feet moving, sometimes gets caught thinking rather than reacting. Average change of direction and lateral agility, despite great speed. Must get off of blocks better.
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