Has excellent size, speed, and athleticism to match up with any receiver. Has good ball skills, able to undercut routes and make a play on the ball. Does a good job when he can keep things in front of him, and shows a fairly good feel for zone coverage. Physical, and willing to throw his weight around in run support. Has good hips and able to turn and run with receiver. Shows potential in press coverage.
Needs to polish up his footwork and technique. Tends to rely on his athleticism rather than good technique. Will gamble a bit at times, and will pay for it quite a bit. Gets caught looking in the backfield from time to time. Sometimes misses the jam. Will open his hips a little too early in his backpedal, making him susceptible to giving up a lot of short throws. Doesn't do a good job wrapping up in run support, rather lowering his shoulder and ducking his head. Means he could miss a lot of tackles on the next level against better backs and receivers.
His physical tools are second to none and he is a playmaker that plays with a lot of confidence and physicality. Has the potential to be an elite corner at the next level a lot like Darrelle Revis. But a bit too undisciplined and may go through some growing pains early in his NFL career because of it. But one imagines with decent coaching, and assuming he isn't a bad character guy then he'll begin to live up to his potential as a shutdown corner eventually. Revis too was talented, but undisciplined during his days at Pitt.
What I Want to See in 2010:
More discipline and attention to detail is the main thing, that would allow him to be a more consistent shutdown corner. He has the ability to go head to head with players like A.J. Green and Julio Jones, and if not shut them down, severely contain them, but didn't always do that.
I'll be surprised if Peterson doesn't go pro after this coming season. And I'll be even more surprised if he's not a Top 15 pick. HIs physical tools and potential alone and I think the ever-growing need or realization that teams covet a Revis-like player means that even if he doesn't have a great year, he'll be a high pick. He won't face A.J. Green this year, but everybody will be watching him how he handles Jones, and he'll also face some decent receivers like Greg Little, Darvin Adams, etc. Ultimately I think Peterson may wind up a Top 5 pick which is rare in recent years for a cornerback.
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.