New England Patriots: Should They Draft Cornerback Marcus Peters?


When you look at the 2015 draft board in relation to the New England Patriots, there are a few things that stand out. You have to find a balance between need, and value, especially with the Pats being at pick 32 this year. There is a very good chance Bill Belichick will trade out of the first round, as he is all about value, and the Patriots can absolutely cash in this year with how the draft board is shaping up.

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With that said, one prospect that keeps popping up that is extremely intriguing is cornerback Marcus Peters. The former Washington standout has first round talent, but there are off the field concerns that may drop him a good amount on day one, and potentially day two of the draft.

Here is what CBS Sports’ Rob Rang has to say on Peters:

"STRENGTHS: Physicality and athleticism regularly stood out against top competition. Among his best attributes is recognition, as Peters plays the receiver very well, turning back toward the ball as the wideout does and frequently knocking the ball away or intercepting it.Peters’ aggression is just as evident in his tackling. Whether it be against a receiver or coming up in run support, he is a physical hitter who looks to intimidate opponents.WEAKNESSES: Clearly must answer questions surrounding his dismissal from the Washington football team on Nov. 6 following repeated clashes with the coaching staff. Was ejected from one game early in 2014 and rubbed some the wrong way when he was seen laughing on the sideline toward the end of a blowout loss to Oregon.Not as smooth in coverage as former Husky Desmond Trufant, who went to the Atlanta Falcons at No. 22 overall two years ago. He can get too grabby downfield and has struggled with inconsistency, playing to the level of his opponent.COMPARES TO: Aqib Talib, Denver Broncos — Just as Talib did when coming out of Kansas, Peters comes with off-field concerns but there is no questioning either cornerback’s length, aggression and ball-skills."

That player comparison caught my eye. And after looking at some tape, I could see the similarities. They both have the same kind of frame, they are both aggressive, they are physical, they can stay with the opposing receiver, and they have excellent ball skills. If Belichick was willing to roll the dice on Talib, why won’t he do it on a guy like Peters?

Come draft day, if Peters is available at pick 32, I wouldn’t hate the Pats taking a flyer on Peters. He obviously has the talent to compete on the outside in the NFL, but the off-the-field concerns are real. However aside from a few big exceptions (hello, Hernandez), New England is generally a place where off-the-field issues go to die, as their winning culture usually gets to younger players, and forces them to commit to the system.

New England’s top need right now isn’t cornerback, but the possibility of adding a young stud like Peters might be too enticing for Belichick and company to pass up.