Draft Profile: Marcus Peters (CB)
Could the Dolphins Take a Chance on One of the Draft’s Riskiest Players?
This year’s draft class is somewhat thin at cornerback, which is problematic for the Dolphins, one of the many teams looking to improve at the position later this month. The team’s search will likely lead them to Marcus Peters, who happens to be both one of the draft’s most talented and troubling players. This profile will examine Peters’ abilities on the field, as well as the issues that have plagued him off of it.
40-Yard Dash: 4.53 Sec
Vertical Jump: 37.5”
Broad Jump: 10’1”
Bench Press: 17 Reps
2013 & 2014: Allowed Only 38.1% of Passes Thrown Against Him
2013 & 2014: 24 Passes Defensed, 8 Interceptions
2012 & 2013: Second Team All-Pac-12
Confident. Aggressive. Proven. These are three of the best words that can be used to describe a defensive back preparing to enter the NFL Draft. Marcus Peters is one of the most poised corners in this years’ class, and never backs down from a challenge. This was a huge asset to Peters in the Pac-12, as he was able to showcase his talents against some of the nation’s top offensive players, including Marcus Mariota, Brett Hundley, and Jaelen Strong.
Marcus Peters also has very natural body movement. One of Peters’ greatest assets is his combination of fluid motion, strong instincts, and impressive quickness, all of which allow him to easily locate the football and create turnovers. He is one of the draft’s more physical corners, utilizing his passion and confidence when making plays on contested throws. In a jump-ball situation, when he is forced to play tight coverage against an often-larger receiver, Peters often wins battles due to his strength and tenacity.
On the field, Marcus Peters checks out in almost all categories, displaying fluidity, strength, confidence, and strong instincts. His on-field potential is as high as any defensive back in this year’s class, and he has proven himself time and time again, going up against some of college football’s top offenses. Outside of his issues off of the field, Marcus Peters possesses all of the tools necessary to be an elite cornerback at the NFL level.
One of the biggest problems for college players when they reach the NFL is learning to accept advice and insight from new coaches and trainers. This concern looms even larger for any team considering Marcus Peters. Peters was suspended at the beginning of 2014 for a tantrum he threw on the sidelines, and was given warning that the staff’s tolerance for the outspoken player was wearing thin. Towards the end of 2014, after another argument with coaches, Peters was formally dismissed from the University of Washington football team.
These issues are very concerning for a player making the jump to the next level, as being receptive to coaching immediately is the only possible way to be ready to face NFL receivers as a young defender. Marcus Peters will have to be responsible, receptive, and cooperative with his new coaches if he wants to have any chance at developing the skills needed to cover top-flight wide receivers. Peters’ history of conflicts and lack of self-control are both red flags for NFL teams, and together they make Peters one of the draft’s riskiest prospects.
If not for his off-the-field issues, Marcus Peters would be an unquestioned first round prospect. He is proven against solid competition, plays with confidence, and possesses instincts and physical abilities needed to play cornerback in the NFL. However, Peters’ issues meshing with his coaching staff at UW are very concerning, and make him a hard pick to figure out for Miami. Joe Philbin has a history of avoiding character concerns, which makes Miami seem like a long shot to select Peters. The Dolphins’ coaching staff has demonstrated their lack of tolerance for poor behavior before, trading Vontae Davis and Mike Wallace both over similar issues with work ethic and attitude.
Despite Joe Philbin’s preferences, if the Dolphins front office is dead-set on adding a cornerback in the first round, and Trae Waynes is unavailable, then Marcus Peters could come into play. College players known for their tempers and explosive personalities have been able to turn it around in the NFL before, but it is always an alarming issue for players to have (Dez Bryant is the first example that comes to mind.). If Marcus Peters can learn to accept coaching, and become a positive force in the locker room, he could an immediate impact in Miami. Peters could provide help for the team at cornerback opposite Brent Grimes, and would make an already intimidating Dolphins’ defense even scarier heading into the 2015 season.