Patrick Peterson Pick Draws Rave Reviews From Experts, Arizona Cardinals Fans

Unless you've been working all night, you already know that the Arizona Cardinals selected Patrick Peterson, cornerback out of LSU, with the fifth pick in the 2011 NFL Draft on Thursday night. This pick has been highly praised by those who follow the team.

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Patrick Peterson Destined To Earn High Draft Grades As 'Shut Down Corner'

Patrick Peterson is not lacking for confidence. In a radio interview with XTRA 910 am in Phoenix after being selected with the fifth overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, Peterson was asked if he sees himself as a cover corner or a shutdown guy. "I consider myself as a shutdown corner, a guy that looks to take your No. 1 receiver away," Peterson said.

The 20-year-old from Fort Lauderdale, FL is related to several NFL Players, including former Cardinal Bryant McFadden and is cousin is wide receiver Santana Moss from the Redskins. Peterson's younger brother, Avery Johnson, is a wide receiver who's committed to follow his brother to LSU in 2012. 

Peterson played running back as well as defensive back in high school and was rated as a top-five prospect going into college. According to his wikipedia page, Peterson recorded 733 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns (9 rushing, one kick return and one punt return) as a high school senior and defensively, had 21 tackles and five interceptions.

Some of that offensive blood still runs inside the talented defensive player and comes out as he talks about wanting to return kicks and punts at the NFL level.

"I want to come here and contribute bigtime as a punt returner or even at the kickoff return as well, because I don't want to just take the ball away from the opposing offense, I want to put my offense in good position as well, because that's what wins ball games...Because me being an offensive guy coming out of high school, I just love being in the end zone. That feeling is just remarkable."

A transcript of the radio interview can be found here and the audio version here. Below is Patrick Peterson as he was introduced as a Cardinal at a press conference held in Arizona after the draft.


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Mel Kiper NFL Draft Grades: Winners And Losers Hit Close To Home For NFC West

Mel Kiper of ESPN has released his analysis and grades for the 2011 NFL Draft. As you might expect, Kiper has positive things to say about a couple of local picks and then goes on to question some others. The big winner from the first round of the NFL Draft was the Arizona Cardinals with their pick of Patrick Peterson.

Peterson, according to Mel Kiper's Big Board, was the best football player in the 2011 Draft. It's no wonder then that his review of the fifth pick was glowing.

Arizona feels it can be a contender in 2011 if it has a quarterback. And the Cardinals knew that a rookie quarterback isn't the answer when you're talking about a team with playoff aspirations. So at No. 5 they took the best football player in the draft, and didn't get pulled into the run on quarterbacks...If you want to connect dots, remember that Philly really needs a cornerback, and has a quarterback the Cardinals might want to acquire in Kevin Kolb

Interesting idea that the Cardinals could use Peterson as bait to trade with the Eagles for Kolb. Of course, he might also mean that Peterson makes Dominque Rogers-Cromartie expendable. 

Another team that got high marks for its picks in the early part of the 2011 NFL Draft was the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals took quarterback Andy Dalton but an Arizona guy got a positive mention as well." Add to that mix a really exciting, high-ceiling guy such as (Dontay) Moch, and you have a pretty impressive start," Kiper wrote.

Moch wasn't the only Arizona product getting rave reviews. Kiper called out the New Orleans Saints for praise for among other things, getting "tremendous value" with DE Cameron Jordan from Chandler High.

On the questionable side of the fence, Kiper wondered about NFC West rival Seattle Seahawks choice of James Carpenter. Kiper considered the pick a reach and thought they could have found better value for the offensive line needs.

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Patrick Peterson Was Fourth On Cardinals Draft Board, Team Still Thrilled

Patrick Peterson was the top player on Mel Kiper's Big Board for the 2011 NFL Draft but the Arizona Cardinals who drafted the LSU cornerback with the fifth overall pick had him ranked fourth. According to a report by Cardinals beat writer Kent Somers, the four guys ahead of Peterson were all taken off the board.

"They would have taken defensive tackle Marcell Dareus, outside linebacker Von Miller, receiver A.J. Green or cornerback Patrick Peterson with the fifth overall pick," Somers wrote about the Cardinals NFL Draft plans.

There aren't many times in life when being picked fourth for a team is a good thing but when it comes to the NFL Draft, it's a pretty high honor and the Cardinals front office is thrilled according to their public comments.

"I like the way he plays physical and tough, and that's an attitude we need to get better with defensively," Cardinal's coach Ken Whisenhunt told the Arizona Republic. "When you look at that spot, were we enticed (to trade), but when you have a chance to get a player that a lot of people feel like was the best player in the draft, you have to take those opportunities. Our goal is to not be drafting this high again for a long time."

Peterson is likely to start at corner and will get an immediate chance to return kicks and could also return punts, Whisenhunt said.

Peterson was named as the best defensive player in college football in his junior year at LSU. He is related to NFL players Bryant McFadden,  Sinorice Moss and Santana Moss and is described as a driven player with no known character issues. At LSU he racked up seven interceptions and 135 tackles in 39 games for the Tigers.

"It's going to be fun to be an Arizona Cardinal. I know Larry [Fitzgerald] is definitely going to get me ready to play games on Sundays," Peterson told reporters on a conference call after the draft.

Welcome to Arizona, Mr. Peterson. The Cardinals defense needs all the help you can bring.

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NFL Draft Results, Round 1 Grades: NFC West Aced The Exam, Except For San Francisco

The first round of the 2011 NFL Draft is over and that means one thing, it's time for grading the draft picks. Different people assign different grades to the various picks, but the results of the draft speak for themselves and ultimately, grades won't matter once football starts again in the fall. That assumes, of course, that the lockout and labor issues are resolved and football does actually start again in the fall. We've assembled a couple of report cards grading the results of the NFC West Round 1 draft picks.

Overall, the NFC West earned three "As", four "Bs", and one each "C" and "D". The worst grade assigned to an NFC West team for their first round pick goes to the San Francisco 49ers for their pick of Aldon Smith, DE from Missouri. The Cardinals pick, Patrick Peterson, earned an "A" and a "B+" in the two score cards we checked.

Here's the full grades for the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft for the NFC West.

SB Nation's Brian Galliford gave the following grades:

No.5: Arizona Cardinals: B+

The Cardinals made CB Patrick Peterson - arguably the best prospect available this year - the No. 5 overall pick. They'll team him with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to form one of the league's elite young cornerback tandems.

It should be noted that Galliford has the Cardinals taking Peterson in his final mock draft and yet only gave the pick a B+. What does that mean? Brian explains:

"For me, it was simply a matter of the position he plays that kept it out of an A grade. He's a phenomenal talent, but he's a cornerback. I think he's great value and the best pick they could've made, but cornerbacks - even ones as good as Peterson - are not every-down factors. That's all it was."

No. 7: San Francisco 49ers: B

Pre-draft, I had DE Aldon Smith as my top-rated defensive end. "Defensive end" is the operative term there; I think he'll struggle to stand up and play OLB. He's a good talent and character fit for Jim Harbaugh.

No. 14: St. Louis Rams: B+

DE Robert Quinn was an outstanding value pick with tremendous upside, and he also happens to be a perfect complement to Chris Long. The brain tumor scares me, but otherwise, this was a terrific pick.

No. 25: Seattle Seahawks: C

OT James Carpenter had been mentioned as a sleeper first-round candidate for weeks, and the Seahawks had a big need along the offensive line. Beyond that, it's just tough to get excited about this pick.

The second group of grades for the NFL Draft Round 1 picks from the NFC West comes from CBS Sports Pete Prisco:

No. 5: Cardinals select: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU - GRADE: A

I love Peterson. He is smooth, big and can cover. The Cardinals can pair him with Cromartie to form a heck of a cover combination.

No. 7: 49ers select: Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri - GRADE: D

I think this is a risky pick. He is a bit overrated. He is somewhat tentative with contact coming at him. Why not a quarterback?

No. 14: Rams select: Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina - GRADE: A

I love this pick. Steve Spagnuolo loves pass rushers and this is the best of the group.

No. 25: Seahawks select: James Carpenter, OT, Alabama - GRADE: B

I like this kid a lot. He was on my Better-than team. He was a left tackle, but will move to right tackle. Along with Russell Okung, they now have a nice pair of tackles.

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