Kenn Korb: CB Kevin Peterson, Oklahoma State
Previous picks: DT Andrew Billings, LB Jaylon Smith, ILB Scooby Wright, OLB Yannick Ngakoue, TE Jerell Adams, RB Paul Perkins, OL Joe Dahl, WR Charone Peake
Green Bay loaded up on corner talent last year, adding Damarious Randall, Quinten Rollins and Ladarius Gunter. This year those players should expect to see more playing time and responsibility, but with Casey Hayward leaving for San Diego and Demetri Goodson suspended for four games the team could use another body at this spot.
Peterson looks to be a good option to consider.
He may not be the biggest corner (5-foot-10) but he brings an intriguing combination of talents to the table that would make him a viable roster addition if given the chance.
Toughness – He returned from preseason knee surgery and played through a mid-year ankle injury to make this past season his best of his college career.
Confidence – He constantly lined up in 1-on-1 coverage versus the top options for his opponents. At times, this would work out well (held his own against likely first-rounder Josh Doctson); in other cases, it went badly (Laquon Treadwell dominated their matchup in the Oklahoma State – Ole Miss bowl game). Still, more often than not, he stepped up to the challenge of handling a team’s top option and did well.
Intelligence – He has a pretty high field awareness, and keeps himself ready for opportunities where he may have to break his coverage responsibility to respond to issues elsewhere on the defense (i.e.: safety needs help on the play, and his area is clear).
Savvy – Among other things, he has shown the ability to accurately read receivers’ cues to predict when the ball arrives, picks appropriate opportunities to peek in on quarterbacks when he’s in zone coverage to attack underneath routes, and has shown a decent ability to force receivers off their routes despite his smallish frame.
He has enough issues that will make teams pause (the aforementioned small frame, plus how ugly that Ole Miss bowl game was for him), but there is talent here. A smart team would look past one bad game and (to me) somewhat overly embellished size concerns and instead focus on his style of play, production, and all the other positives he brings to the table.
At worst, this is just a seventh-round pick being invested in him; if things don’t work out, that’s hardly a damaging loss. If things do go well however, we could be looking at yet another talented addition to an impressive young secondary.
Next: Freddie Boston