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Dallas Cowboys Potential Draft Pick: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU

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Jonathan Bales

Let’s be clear: Patrick Peterson is a sure bet to get drafted before the Cowboys’ ninth overall selection.  He’s the best defensive back in this class, by far, and as close to a “can’t-miss” prospect as possible.

But weird things happen on draft day, and there’s no reason Peterson can’t start to slide a few spots.  The stud defensive tackles (Nick Fairley and Da’Quan Bowers) could surely go ahead of him, as could elite wide receiver prospect A.J. Green.  If a team gets quarterback-hungry, Blaine Gabbert of Missouri might get selected too early.  Edge-rushers are always a hot commodity, and UNC’s Robert Quinn and Texas A&M’s Von Miller are athletic freaks. 

Now I certainly don’t forsee Peterson’s potential drop as a likely scenario.  Some have said he’s a lock for the Bills at No. 3. 

But if he does drop, the Cowboys will certainly value his versatility.  Peterson plays cornerback, but some envision him as a future free safety (which is one small reason he might drop a spot or two).  He’s also an amazing return man.  That trio of skills would certainly fit well in Dallas, so why not at least take a look at the LSU star?

Scouting Report

At 6’1”, 222 pounds, Peterson has the body of an NFL safety.  His speed, quickness, and hips are all elite, however, so he excels at cornerback.  He is very fluid and has no problem giving receivers ground so he can break on underneath routes, using his make-up speed to recover if necessary.  I’ve heard rumors Peterson has around a 40-inch vertical leap and already ran a 4.37 electronic-timed 40-yard dash.

To go along with that explosiveness, Peterson has excellent body control.  Straight speed is nothing in the NFL if you can’t stop quickly as well. 

Peterson is a playmaker who can become ultra-aggressive at times.  Once in awhile, he becomes too aggressive and will overrun plays.  He wasn’t beat much in college because he’s such a tremendous athlete, but he could be susceptible to double-moves in the NFL.  It isn’t like that sort of technique can’t be taught, however, and Peterson seems to be a quick learner.

Peterson’s strength is superior for a cornerback, and he excels in press coverage.  It isn’t like he’s weak in zone, but his skill set is perfect for jamming receivers, shadowing them, then turning to make a play on the football.

Peterson is a sure tackler, but sometimes he isn’t as aggressive against the run as needed.  He won’t miss many open-field tackles, but he doesn’t fly around the field in run support like Miami’s Brandon Harris.

With Dez Bryant’s value to the team being too great to justify using him on returns, Peterson could also contribute there. 

Projection

Peterson could go anywhere from the second overall selection to the sixth.  I don’t see enough top-level prospects ahead of him for Peterson to drop any further.  Plus, if he does drop to Cleveland’s No. 6 pick, teams will be dying to trade up ahead of San Francisco to grab him.

According to the NFL’s draft value chart, the sixth pick is worth (roughly) Dallas’ No. 9 selection and their third-round pick.  That may be a small price to pay for a player with Peterson’s ability.

Other Potential Cowboys Draft Picks in 2011

Nebraska CB Prince Amukamara

Cal DT/DE Cameron Jordan

UNC DE/OLB Robert Quinn

Ohio State DT/DE Cameron Heyward

Colorado OT Nate Solder

Wisconsin OT Gabe Carimi

Iowa DE Adrian Clayborn

USC OT Tyron Smith

Miami CB Brandon Harris

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20 Responses to Dallas Cowboys Potential Draft Pick: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU

  1. Rick says:

    I love the idea of trading up to 6 if he falls that far. Unfortunately, if all the elite DL prospects are gone (more than like the case if Peterson’s still there), why wouldn’t Cleveland take Peterson themselves? The top 5 is gonna have to be QB heavy for Dallas to have a chance.

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  3. Vince_Grey says:

    The guy sounds like a sure fire stud DB, at whatever position, but I still maintain trading up (By giving up anything more than a low round pick) for anyone other than a franchise QB or maybe a truly great D-lineman is not the best idea.

    If we were one top corner away from a SB, I’d be more inclined to strongly consider it, but we have several other issues to address.

  4. willis says:

    man I would love to get Peterson, but since that probably won’t happen cn we take a look at Robert Quinn sometime?

  5. Tyrone Jenkins says:

    I think that if you package either Jenkins, Scandrick or Newman (most likely Scandrick) w/ the # 9 pick, you could get to # 2 as Denver will need a DB and high pick after Champ Bailey leaves.

  6. Mark Watkins says:

    with all due respect Tyrone, I wonder if Denver would really want one of those guys. I think they’d be better off taking Peterson themselves, but maybe I’m wrong, idk. I am also of the opinion that the Boys should stay at 9 and draft the best DE available if they don’t get a good offer to trade down.

  7. Tyrone Jenkins says:

    Yeah, I think you’re right Mark. Although, I’d be willing to package Scandrick AND MBIII or Martellus Bennett and the #9 pick for the #2. I think Peterson is just that special.

    I doubt Denver would like to take on Barber’s contract but might be interested in augmenting their run blocking game w/ Bennett. I know he seems to be a crowd favorite and his blocking is notetworthy but the Boys really dont’ need him next year as long as Phillips recovers as expected.

  8. Vince_Grey says:

    LOL, TJ, I agree with Mark, NO WAY Denver trades us their #2 for our #9 and ANY of those guys, or even any combination of those guys.

    Jenkins is probably the most purely talented of the group, but even though he’ll likely rebound as a cover guy, he all but quit last season and won’t tackle anyone. Scandrick’s a good cover guy in the slot, but he’s no where near a star. Bennett has potential as a receiver, but right now he’s a glorified OT. Barber’s over-the-hill, and Newman may be.

    I think minimum, Denver would want another 1st to make that trade, or a TOP starter, not a bunch of guys you want gone, or wouldn’t really mind losing.

    I mean, seriously Tyrone, would YOU make that trade if the situation was reversed? Honestly?

  9. Tyrone Jenkins says:

    Actually, no I wouldn’t. Not in a million years. To be honest, i I were doing the deal from the Broncos side, there’s only 1 player on the Cowboys I’d even consider worthy of packaging in a trade – D Ware. There’s really nobody else on the Cowboys team that’s playing at an elite level besides him.

    But I also wouldn’t have drafted Tim Tebow in the 1st round. Nor would I have pissed off Jay Cutler to the point he wanted to leave by not telling him about my interest in another QB in the draft and took on Kyle Orton in return. Notr would I trade away Brandon Marshall right after signing him to a huge contract that included $24 million guaranteed.

    Who knows WHAT the Broncos are thinking?

  10. Tyrone–I don’t think Denver would make that trade for anyone on the Cowboys other than a handful of guys (Ware, Romo, etc) that we wouldn’t even come close to considering.

  11. john coleman says:

    Peterson is the only player in this whole draft, IMO, who has must have ability. Iwas screaming for all I was worth during the season, WHY ARE WE CONCERNED WITH WINNING MEANINGLESS GAMES? We could be drafting at #2.

    I still wouldn’t mortgage the ranch to get any one player.

    Trading down is the only feasible option. We could move down twice and get an extra 2nd and an extra 3rd. We could move completely out of the 1st and get three 2nd round picks. Then get say a Pouncey 33rd, Aaron Williams 40th, and Taylor 50ish. Come back in rd 3 and get Irving 71st and Ziemba 80ish. Did I miss anything?

  12. john coleman says:

    BTW I’m agreeing with you JB, that we will get a vet FS in FA. I forgot to mention Robert Sands and somewhere in the 3rd would be good for him.

  13. Tyrone Jenkins says:

    JC – Amen brotha on the why the Boys continued to strive so desperately for wins that late in the season…

    As far as Pouncey, I think he will get picked up by the Steelers wherever they pick (31st or 32nd) to join him w/ his brother (I know, sounds somewhat odd but elder Pouncey has done so well that younger Pouncey will be highly sought by that organization).

    I’d look for Phil Taylor, as discussed in other posts, w/ the 2nd round pick.

  14. Yeah, even though I think a rookie is generally able to excel at FS before RT, I can’t see the Cowboys starting the season with a guy like Moore, Deunta Williams, etc at FS. I could see Carimi/Sherrod/etc.

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