12 April 2011

Who Will Draft Patrick Peterson?

Patrick Peterson is the consensus top cornerback in the 2011 NFL Draft and is widely viewed to be the top player in all of the draft. Some believe he may the best cornerback prospect since Champ Bailey in 1999. But he plays a position that is traditionally not drafted very high and some teams may have bigger issues to deal with. So which will draft him?
I'm going to go team by team for the first seven picks of the 2011 NFL Draft because it will be downright ridiculous if he falls even further than that.

1. Carolina Panthers
Well if the Panthers go with the best player available method...who are we kidding, Carolina would be crazy to pick Peterson. They will go quarterback or possibly defensive line. Cornerbacks are not worth the top overall pick.

2. Denver Broncos
I had mocked Peterson here for a while but the defensive line is such a greater need for the Broncos than cornerback. Plus John Fox is a defensive line guy.

3. Buffalo Bills
Cornerback is not a need for the Bills but neither was running back last year and they took C.J. Spiller anyways. Unless Cam Newton is available here they probably will take Von Miller to improve their putrid pass rush but it's not that crazy to foresee them taking Peterson.

4. Cincinnati Bengals
This is the first realizstic spot I can see Peterson be seriously considered. Jonathan Joseph is a free agent whenever the lockout wraps up and while the Bengals want to obviously bring him back, it is not certain whether he would want to. If the organization feels that he is a lost cause, then taking Peterson would be a wise move. I do believe the favorite is A.J. Green here, though.

5. Arizona Cardinals
I could see Peterson go here if he is available and he would either push Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie to step up after an inconsistent 2010 or form a great pairing with him. However, the Steelers' 3-4 defense does not place a huge emphasis on the cornerback and primarily emphasizes rushing the passer. I would be stunned if Von Miller falls to five but I could definitely see them taking Robert Quinn. Blaine Gabbert is a smokescreen. This pick will be Quinn or Peterson.

6. Cleveland Browns
The Browns really need to give Colt McCoy some weapons as well as ramp up their pass rush so A.J. Green, if he falls, Julio Jones, and Robert Quinn will be the targets. But the Browns have absolutely nothing opposite Joe Haden, who was a stud last year, and they might find it extremely tempting to pair Haden with Peterson and have two lockdown cornerbacks for years.

7. San Francisco 49ers
I cannot see Peterson falling further than San Francisco. The 49ers desperately need help at cornerback and Peterson is too good to pass up at this spot. Blaine Gabbert is also a possibility but I wouldn't think twice about taking Peterson.

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