2015 NFL Draft Spotlight: Washington CB Marcus Peters
Turron Davenport | 4/3/2015, 6 p.m. | Updated on 4/3/2015, 5:33 p.m.
BALTIMORE Last year was a tough year for the Baltimore Ravens secondary, especially the corner-back position. The team lost a number of players at the position due to injury. The 2015 NFL Draft class is pretty deep at corner which is a good thing for teams like the Ravens that need to address the position. Marcus Peters from Washington is the top corner in the 2015 draft class.
Peters is a very aggressive player. He doesn't hesitate to get physical with bigger receivers. He actually uses his physicality to try and intimidate receivers or and take them out of their game. The intense and competitive mindset that he has is an absolute requirement for a press corner.
There was some push-back about Peters because of his 4.51 time at the Combine but one thing to note is that his 20 yard shuttle was 4.08 which is a strong indicator of his lateral quickness. The ability to close on underneath throws really shows watching Peters on film. He fights for every pass thrown his way and uses his hips very well to turn and run with receivers on quick in breaking routes. Peters said that he brings a shutdown mentality to the game and called himself a ball-hawk.
Timing is one of the biggest attributes for Peters. He is aware of the rules in the NFL and how they favor receivers by limiting contact that corners can have. When asked about this, Peters has a simple explanation of how he is able to avoid illegal contact penalties. “There’s a lot of guys in the league that receive the rep of being grabby. You just have to know the right time to do it, when you can be physical with receivers. You have to know when to make a play on the ball.”
The video below shows all of Peters’ attributes. Peters is matched up on an island with Arizona State wide receiver Jalen Strong. Strong is a bigger receiver that is known for creating separation with his body. Peters is able to get a subtle jam at the line of scrimmage to disrupt the timing on the short passing play. This allows him to run step for step with Strong as he runs a slant route. Peters is deceptively physical with Strong throughout the route. He uses his hands to feel where Strong is as he looks at the quarterback to watch when he releases the ball. This allows him to in effect have two sets of eyes, one on the quarterback and the other set on the receiver. He sees when the ball is thrown and undercuts the route while incidental contact causes Strong to fall down. The result of the play is an incompletion and a frustrated receiver.
The major question with Peters is the issues that he had with the coaching staff at the University of Washington which caused him to be kicked off of the team. Peters took full accountability for everything. “It was a miscommunication, mostly on my part. I didn't adjust to the coaching change well.” Peters continued: “I learned from my mistakes. I made some immature decisions at the University of Washington.”