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The Peterson / Amukamara Debate

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  • The Peterson / Amukamara Debate

    So I wrote this up regarding the debate between Patrick Peterson and Prince Amukamara. While I think both have tremendous upside, and will both be top-15 picks, I think their success is contingent on the situation. Amukamara is already very good, but I have concerns about his tackling and ball skills. Frankly, this year we didn't see a lot of ball skills because he wasn't thrown at a great deal (besides at Oklahoma State).

    Peterson is scary because he could make a big splash in the NFL, but could definitely be exposed by the right type of receiver. I don't agree at all with NFLDraftScout's assessment of the player. What are your thoughts?

    When answering questions about draft picks and who is better than who it can seem a bit overwhelming. How could anyone, be it a crazed fan or a front office exec, realistically assess a player’s skill set and accurately translate that to the pro game? The number of teams and strategies involved in college football alone take a lot of consideration, but once you’re also juggling intangibles and scheme-compatibility, you might need an adderall or two to keep things in focus; it’s hard work!

    And every draft commercial reminds us that Tom Brady was overlooked until the latter half of the 2000 draft. The experts tell us that Detroit had to spend three first round picks on wide receivers before they got one right (uhh, Charles Rogers?). We laugh at the Chargers for selecting Ryan Leaf with the second overall pick in the ’98 draft, but the real story there is that he was the second quarterback taken that year. The first was no other than Peyton manning. With the prevalence of draft busts, it makes questions like this more and more relevant. A team in desperate need of a certain position in the early first round could end up with their very own Ryan Mallett Leaf if they’re not careful.

    Today’s debate is deep rooted in prejudice between SEC and Big XII (and now Big 10) fans everywhere. Ask anyone from the Midwest their views and they’ll tell you Prince Amukamara is the second coming of Nnamdi Asomugha. The Southern United States, the SEC, and ESPN’s talking heads will give the nod to Patrick Peterson because of his sheer athletic ability and dominance against the nations best receivers. I definitely have to agree that Peterson is the physical freak of the two. I wouldn’t be surprised if he measures more favorably in every category at the combine. He’s bigger, faster, and more explosive. When watching game film, however, Amukamara appears slightly quicker, and though Peterson has 15 lbs on him, Amukamara is surprisingly stout.

    Peterson has all the accolades. He went toe to toe with Julio Jones and A.J. Green and stood his ground. He has more college interceptions and more prime time big plays; he scores touchdowns. His college career has made him a legend at LSU, and the hype-machine that is the SEC has propped him up on a pedestal that will be hard for him to earn. Patrick has a skill set that I’d compare to Antonio Cromartie in that he’s big and is a strider. Sure, he has all the physical tools in the world, but his hips aren’t as fluid as you’d like a potential top-ten pick to have. In college he was able to recover thanks to his size and excellent ball skills, but quick NFL receivers will be able to take advantage of that. His interceptions give you chills, they’re that good, but to dominate at the next level you have to be a technician.

    That’s where Mr. Amukamara comes in. If you just saw him in street clothes, or looked at his stats, you’d never understand his value to the Huskers. He didn’t record a single interception this year, yet his stock still rose. It’s all because the qualities he possess are exactly what pro-scouts look for. As stated earlier, he is a very quick player. In the flats he has those short-quick steps that you look for, he plays very well with his hands, and his hips are very fluid. It’s a lot of fun watching him play ball.

    A lot of people say Amukamara doesn’t have great straight-line speed, but the times he is behind seem to be due to recognition problems. I can see him playing great in a tampa-2 scheme (ala Ronde Barber) or suiting up with a man-coverage team. He is physical in the run game and sheds blocks exceptionally well for a cornerback. My only concern is that he sometimes tackles too high and that could be embarrassing at the next level. His ball-skills once the pass is thrown could be better also.

    Between these two you really have to know what you’re looking for. Prince Amukamara will be a sound defensive player who is capable of shutting down a side of the field with a little coaching. Patrick Peterson is the sexy pick in that he can return kicks and interceptions for touchdowns. In the end I’m going to go with Amukamara because he has better coverage skills and plays the receiver a little more aggressively down the field. I think both should be top-15 picks, but each will fill a different role.

    Oh and just a thought. I haven’t heard anything of the matter, but I could definitely see Peterson moving to safety at the next level. You see players like Antrel Roll and Malcolm Jenkins make the transition without missing a beat. Guys that lack that short-step quickness can still make a lot of money in center field.
    edit - link temporarily removed. if you're a one-hit poster, we don't want to advertise your blog for you. get a few posts here before trying to link.
    Last edited by njx9; 02-11-2011, 09:53 AM. Reason: link removed.

  • #2
    the CB situation is interesting... I think Jimmy Smith could run like a demon and surpass Prince. I am not sure Prince will run as fast as everyone thinks he will. Brandon Harris is also in the mix for top 20... those are the 'top 4' with a drop off after that.

    Peterson is locked in as a high pick no matter what but even he is a bit overrated. He's not a Revis-type shut down player. He's more of a gambler ballhawk type and might actually be the best free safety as well as the best corner.
    my shoes hurt

    Why Me? The Bob Lamonta Story

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    • #3
      I played corner and take a deep look at the corner prospects every year. Peterson is a bit overrated, and while I think Amukamara will run around a 4.5, that doesn't take away from his football speed. From all the film I've watched of him, he's ran foot for foot with all of them. Even this year against Justin Blackmon, he got torched on a flee-flicker and all the other completions were while he was in good position.

      Gotta love guys like him with good character too. I really think he will be something special.

      *EDIT* Sorry, I didn't want to spam the site. I just started that site up to keep my thoughts organized and get my views out there!

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      • #4
        Most of the scouts out there think that Amukamara is the one who is overrated because he might not have elite straight-line speed.

        Peterson is simply a physical specimen a la the Calvin Johnson of CBs.

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        • #5
          Sometimes a guy isn't too good to be true. Suh wasn't, Calvin Johnson wasn't. Certainly guys who look like potential locks may bust, who knows Peterson might. That doesn't mean that it wasn't the right decision (now; not in hindsight) to take him. The dude is ridiculously athletic, strong and he's an elite return man.

          I will say I was VERY unimpressed with his lackluster performance in the Cotton Bowl, he was playing a ton of off man on Jeff Fuller and Fuller picked him apart on comeback routes and little hitches for 10-12 yard receptions throughout that game.

          Frankly Jimmy Smith is a right there with Amukamara for #2 corner, Brandon Harris is a top fifteen prospect as well. Corner is, in my opinion, one of the decided strengths of this draft class. Really after Peterson all Smith, Harris and Amukamara can go in any order. I really like Harris because he makes up for not being a big guy height wise (5'11, other three in the 6'2 range) with elite timing on balls downfield.

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          • #6
            This is what I think:

            1. Patrick Peterson
            2. Brandon Harris
            3. Aaron Williams
            4. Prince Amukamara
            5. Jimmy Smith

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            • #7
              Why Aaron Williams over Prince and Jimmy, D?

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              • #8
                My biggest concern with guys like Jimmy Smith is their physicality. The guy is a waterbug... He is a poor tackler, and I just have to wonder if he'll ever be anything more than a nickelback.

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                • #9
                  Peterson is the clear cut #1 IMO even tho I'm not crazy about him like some people and then I think Harris and Prince are pretty much neck and neck right now for #2

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Zello View Post
                    Why Aaron Williams over Prince and Jimmy, D?
                    More fluid at the hips. Has better ability to jam at the LOS and still recover on the deep ball. Natural instincts at the position are better. More physical than either of them....very willing in run support. Diplays more confidence/swagger. Has closing speed when called on to blitz. Gets overlooked because Texas as a whole had a terrible year. Otherwise would be getting a lot more hype. He had his fair share of plays made against him, but I like his upside and NFL potential A LOT more than those other 2.

                    Prince earned early hype and had a steady, but unspectacular season. He gets overrated because most big boards look the same and nobody wants to deviate from the norm. He doesn't nearly create enough turnovers for me to love him as a Top 10 player, and his questionable speed makes me further think that he's more worthy of a late 1st rounder, early 2nd.

                    Jimmy Smith is not as physical as his build would lead you to believe he is. He doesn't play physical, but he's had a damn good success rate defending the pass. I admit that I have question marks on him. He might deserve more credit, but I simply like what I see in Aaron Williams more. Williams is a playmaker.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Colbster425 View Post
                      I played corner and take a deep look at the corner prospects every year. Peterson is a bit overrated, and while I think Amukamara will run around a 4.5, that doesn't take away from his football speed. From all the film I've watched of him, he's ran foot for foot with all of them. Even this year against Justin Blackmon, he got torched on a flee-flicker and all the other completions were while he was in good position.

                      Gotta love guys like him with good character too. I really think he will be something special.

                      *EDIT* Sorry, I didn't want to spam the site. I just started that site up to keep my thoughts organized and get my views out there!
                      I watched that Oklahoma State game and Prince wasn't in good position on every catch, Im sorry. Prince got abused by Blackmon. He committed a bad PI call that is fine in college cause it's only 15 yards, but in the NFL its 50. Stuff like that needs to be taken into consideration. Im not harping on Prince because he's the clear #2 CB in this class and I like him better then Joe Haden of last year, but the guy isn't bulletproof. He's been exposed at times.
                      Originally posted by Mr. Goosemahn
                      The APS is strong in this one.
                      Originally posted by killxswitch
                      Tears for Fears is better than whatever it is you happen to be thinking about right now.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by A Perfect Score View Post
                        I watched that Oklahoma State game and Prince wasn't in good position on every catch, Im sorry. Prince got abused by Blackmon. He committed a bad PI call that is fine in college cause it's only 15 yards, but in the NFL its 50. Stuff like that needs to be taken into consideration. Im not harping on Prince because he's the clear #2 CB in this class and I like him better then Joe Haden of last year, but the guy isn't bulletproof. He's been exposed at times.
                        I'm sorry. Let me rephrase, he was never out of position because of his speed. He at times hesitated or bit or played a little too soft. But he was never burnt because of speed. That was my point I was trying to make.

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                        • #13
                          I think Prince is a great prospect, and a really good player, but I think Peterson is a rare prospect and started to get overanalyzed after having too big of a spotlight on him.

                          Don't over think it, the dude has the flexibility and natural agility to play any skill position on the field, "stiffness" is not an issue.
                          Originally posted by SNIPER26
                          fwiw, i amz deunks ofs myt ass. ilo vez drinmoinz befotre i post. wha t a hreat ideas.z.

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                          • #14
                            Not that I don't think he can't play outside corner, but I think you'll get the most value out of Peterson's abilities if a team plays him in the exact same role Capers uses for Woodson. He would be an absolute monster.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by yourfavestoner View Post
                              Not that I don't think he can't play outside corner, but I think you'll get the most value out of Peterson's abilities if a team plays him in the exact same role Capers uses for Woodson. He would be an absolute monster.
                              That's exactly how I feel, he can be truly dynamic in some sort of hybrid rover role.
                              Cowboys Mock:
                              1. Myles Jack | LB | UCLA
                              2. Vernon Butler | DT | LA Tech
                              3. Karl Joseph | SS | WVU

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