Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson is quickly earning a reputation for being one of the league’s best at locking down receivers.
However, the second-year pro can do so much more, which was recognized in an ESPN Insider piece presenting the ‘NFL’s 10 most versatile players’.
Peterson has great ball awareness and ball skills at cornerback and is probably the best punt returner in the league right now. With four punt returns for touchdowns last season, teams have kicked away from him this season, but he remains a threat. As a corner, Peterson is long-armed, has great recovery speed and is tough. He has a sense of where the ball is when his back is turned, but he is still too loose in his hips and peeks into the backfield too much. He’ll get beat by guys because he is not playing the proper technique, but most of the time, his talent makes up for some fundamental issues that he can improve upon.
For the season, Peterson has five interceptions to go along with 39 tackles, though he has yet to reach the end zone on a pick or punt return, and he’s averaging nearly half as many yards per return as he did last season.