Patrick Peterson came into the NFL after a standout career with the LSU Tigers where he won the Thorpe and Bednarik awards and the SEC Defensive Player of the Year award as a junior before the Arizona Cardinals took him with the fifth pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, and he got some high praise from one former coach who knows cornerbacks as well as anyone.
Herman Edwards played cornerback in the NFL for 10 seasons, coached defensive backs at the college and NFL level for more than a decade before becoming a head coach for the New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs, so his assessment on cornerbacks in the NFL holds considerable weight.
Edwards ranked the top 10 cornerbacks in the league right now and the former Tiger and two-time Pro Bowler came in at No. 2 on his list. Here is what Edwards had to say about Peterson who leads the Cardinals with three interceptions this season.
“I’ve raved about him before, and I think he’ll be No. 1 on this list before too long. He probably has the best ball skills of any corner in the league.” … “The bottom line is that he’s a special talent. With his athletic ability and closing speed, the sky is the limit.”
He may be the best football player on this list when you factor in his work on special teams, but I don’t have a big objection with him behind Richard Sherman–who probably gets additional attention because of his brash words–but I agree with Edwards and think Peterson will be atop this list before too long.
Part of Peterson’s value to the Cardinals this year is his relationship with former LSU teammate and rookie defensive back, Tyrann Mathieu who is looking like the biggest steal in the 2013 NFL Draft.
His vouching for Mathieu and close-knit relationship with him opened the door for them to take the former Heisman finalist and gives the Cardinals two of the best young defensive backs in the league.