With a quarter of the season already in the books, it seems the Patriots have more questions than answers. It has been the better part of a decade since fans have questioned if the team has what it takes to make the playoffs rather than can they win the Super Bowl. As draftniks, we’ve become accustomed to the Patriots having late-round draft picks. This year, if Coach Belichick and the team cannot turn the season around, we may be drafting in uncharted waters. With so much uncertainty, no prospect can be overlooked because the Patriots may be picking much earlier than usual. Because of this, I decided to look at one of the top CB prospects, Marcus Peters.
Peters has good size for the positions, coming in at 6’0″, 190 lbs. He shows an ability to play press man, off man, and zone coverage and looks comfortable in all three schemes. Peters is consistently lined up with the opposition’s best wide receiver, showing his confidence. He also shows good play recognition and quick reactions. When he plays in press man he shows a good backpedal and an ability to stay low, which gives him great change of direction. He also has aggressive hands to jam the receiver at the line of scrimmage. Peters has fluid hips and does not lose any speed when coming out of his backpedal. Because of his aggressive nature, he plays much bigger than his size and uses his body well to cut off routes or force the WR out of route. Sometimes it even looks as though he is running the route better than the WR. He has potential to be a true shut down corner at the next level.
Marcus Peters’ overall game is fun to watch, but there are some aspects that he needs to improve on if he’s going to be an elite corner at the NFL level. Aggressiveness, one of Peters’ biggest positives, is also his biggest negative at times. At one one point in the game, I saw him peeking back at the quarterback only to have the WR run past him. He also looks to jump routes and can get burned by the double move. So far in the games I have watched, it has not come back to hurt him, but it is something that offensive coordinators in the NFL will look to exploit. Peters also shows an inconsistent effort in run support. At times, he shows a willingness to come up and make a tackle on a RB or on a WR while running a screen play, and he is actually pretty good at it, but there are far too many examples of him “dancing” with a WR and allowing someone else to make the play. He is not alone in needing to improve in these areas though as these are common issues for just about every CB in college football. Peters’ aggressiveness off the field is also a concern. His tantrum on the sideline of a game earlier this year caused him to to be benched for the Illinois game. Finally, I noticed that Peters relies more on his athleticism rather than technique at times, especially against lesser competition.
Marcus Peters possesses all of the skills you look for in a CB. He has a unique blend of athleticism and aggressiveness but he walks a fine line between aggressive and over aggressive in many facets of his game. If he can clean up some of these issues, he has what it takes to be an elite corner at the next level.