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This year’s draft is full of question marks and no one has as many as Washington corner back Marcus Peters.  He got dismissed from the team during the 2014 season, but allowed to practice with hismarcusp former teammates on campus, showing some repentance and acceptance with his former college coaching staff.  I reviewed six of his games against Hawaii, Eastern Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Stanford, and Oregon State to get a better idea of the skills he will bring to the next level.  Here is what I saw:

CB Marcus Peters, Washington 6’ 197 lbs.

Cons:  Combine watchers will be the first to report the corner only ran a 4.53 forty yard dash.  There are plenty of NFL coverage defensive backs that do well with this kind of speed; however his technique will need to be almost Richard Sherman good to be an outstanding starting defensive back. The problem is he relies on his athleticism more than he is a student of the game.  His effort varies from play to play as does his excitement.  When Peters is in the zone he is outstanding, but he can get too fired up and then thrown out of a game or have multiple penalties hurting his team.  There were too many times that he ended up flat on his back in run support, although Peters managed to make a few tackles from there.  The corner can get very aggressive in coverage, either getting too handsy or trying to jump routes.  A seasoned quarterback will exploit those tendencies often, if these are not curtailed. 

Pros: As a run stopper, Peters is aggressive and can close on the ball carrier quickly.  He is a solid tackler and does a good job disengaging from blockers, especially at his size.  The corner has loose, open hips that help him change directions almost effortlessly and a back pedal to match.  Unlike most defensive backs, he can play any kind of defense: press, off, or zone coverage.  When Peters is heads up against a receiver on the line of scrimmage, he makes sure he gets his hands all over them within the five yards to slow down their release. The defender mirrors his receiver, sometimes running the route better than the offensive player.  Tight ends do give him a bit more trouble as he does not overpower them.  Peters likes to rip the pigskin out, right when it arrives.  He has a knack of finding the ball quickly and accelerating to where the ball carrier is going.  This is also evident when he is tracking the returner on punts and kickoffs.

Overall thoughts:  If this corner gest the proper mentoring or coaching, Peters could be an outstanding NFL corner.  However, if he continues to gamble and guess without understanding the game better, the defender could be out of the league in three years.


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