Cardinals’ Patrick Peterson ranked eighth in look back at 2011 draft
At the time, football experts considered the 2011 NFL Draft to be a very strong one.
Five years later, calling it strong is a gross understatement.
Twelve players from that draft have combined for 20 First Team All-Pro honors in the five seasons that have occurred since. A total of 23 players have played in 45 combined Pro Bowls.
One of the players who has received both honors is Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson, who has been a First Team All-Pro three times and has been selected to five Pro Bowls, even though he declined to participate this season.
The draft was so good, it caused ESPN guru Mel Kiper to take a look back and re-rank the top ten players in an ESPN Insider piece.
In his re-ranking, he’s got Peterson, who was drafted fifth overall by the Cardinals, as the eighth best player.
The No. 1 player on my final Big Board for the 2011 class, I didn’t think Peterson would go that high, but I thought he was the most dynamic talent. He has been great for the most part, though he has had stretches in which he simply got beat too often. For Peterson the challenge is to be a great technical player and not just rely on his supreme athletic abilities. He truly is one of the best raw athletes to enter the draft in this century.
Ranking ahead of Peterson in Kiper’s review are Houston defensive end J.J. Watt (11th pick in 2011), Carolina quarterback Cam Newton (1st), Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman (154th), Denver outside linebacker Von Miller (2nd), Cincinnati wide receiver A.J. Green (4th), Kansas City outside linebacker Justin Houston (70th) and New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson (30th).
Atlanta wide receiver Julio Jones (6th), Cincinnati Andy Dalton (35th) and Dallas offensive tackle Tyron Smith (9th) round out Kiper’s updated player rankings.