UW Football: Draft Discussion Marcus Peters

The 2014 season for the University of Washington Huskies ended with some impressive individual performances on the defensive side of the ball. Three, or possibly four Husky defensive players should be drafted on the 1st or 2nd day of the NFL draft.

This is the second of a four-part series, where Seattle Side Up writers Brent Goodwine and Richard Michealson will discuss NFL draft prospects:

Today’s conversation, Brent and Rich will discuss the ultra-talented Corner Back hastily removed from the team for disciplinary reasons mid-season – Marcus Peters.

Skills

Rich:

Hey Brent, what tools does Marcus Peters offer the NFL?

Brent:

Peters certainly has a lot of positive tools, but he also brings a few negative tools with him.

In addition to his off the charts disdain for authority and general disregard of team rules, Marcus Peters has a few other tools that will serve useful in the NFL. Peters is a physical CB and a good athlete, but the best part of his game is his ability to track the ball in the air and perfectly time his leap to knock a pass down.

Peters is also confident and never afraid of confrontation, which is also one of the reasons that his season and Husky career was cut a little short.

Rich:

Peters has all of the physical tools that you want in a CB in the NFL.  He has no major weakness.  He has the ceiling of a #1 CB, but probably will be a #2 CB. 

Peters has an enormous chip on his shoulder. This is a two-edged sword; it will benefit him as motivation, but, his perception that everyone is “against him” has landed him in trouble with coaches, and earned him several personal foul penalties.

He has exceptional ball skills. His special ability to track the ball in the air is just that: SPECIAL!   Peters has a nose for the ball and the action and he is always in on every play.

Unique to the position, Peters likes to hit and take a hit.  He is unafraid to take on blockers and lay a hit on Running backs.

Deficiencies

Brent:

What weakness or areas for improvement do you see in Peters’ game?

Rich:

There are not any big deficiencies in his game between the lines, his main deficiencies are outside the lines and between the ears.

It is apparent that Marcus is a very emotional, passionate, and has tremendous talent to make spectacular plays, but man does he has a temper!  

It has been alleged that Peters assaulted, possibly choked a coach; this was the incident(s) that lead to his dismissal from the UW Football team in November 2014.

When at times his fundamentals get a bit sloppy, he seems hard to coach.  Peters has shown he treats coaching as personal criticism rather than assistance to make his game better.

Brent:

I really couldn’t say it better myself, but I will sure as hell try. Peters is his own worst enemy. There were times at UW where he looked like a top 10 pick and had the swagger to back it up…but then the mental lapses would pop up here and there.

Peters needs to grow up. If he does (all signs point to this not being the case), he will have a long career as a starter in the NFL. If he doesn’t get his act together, he will waste a golden opportunity.

Most of his weaknesses are due to mental lapses and immature behavior. Correctable, but serious issues nonetheless.

NFL team

Rich:

Hey Brent, which NFL teams need Marcus Peters?

Brent:

A team that needs to replace a #2 starting CB and isn’t afraid of taking talented players with troubled pasts. The type of team with a Head Coach who enthusiastically relates to his team and can even get through to his knucklehead players. Anyone know of a team like that (ahem, Coach Pete Carroll)?

Teams outside of the Pacific Northwest could also use Peters. Despite any behavioral red flags, he’s a great prospect and probably the best CB in the draft. Any team that plays a lot of man to man could benefit from him, so he could be projected to any team that has a strong, veteran locker room and needs CBs.

Baltimore and Dallas are possible landing spots.

Rich:

Well here’s the deal Brent, Marcus Peters is a tremendous NFL 1st round talent.  He is potentially a top-10 pick and every team in the NFL needs to have him.  

  • He was a Preseason All-American at the start of the season.
  • He was highly recruited out of high school
  • During his redshirt year in 2011, he earned Scout Team MVP
  • In 2013 he was 2nd Team All-Pac-12
  • Ranked the #2 NCAA Corner Back in 2014

From a physical perspective, he brings all of the tools to the table that any NFL talent evaluator would drool over:

  • He is tall and strong listed at 6’0” and 195lbs.
  • He is quick off of the line of scrimmage and fast enough to keep up with almost any receiver.
  • He can and does jam receivers at the line.
  • He is very good at press man coverage.

But, Peters is a knucklehead plain and simple.  He has enough baggage to give the Dowager Countess a run for her money.  He has all of the talent in the world to be a starter at the cornerback position for the next decade.

Every NFL team could use this guy on the roster, but strict disciplinarian teams should be wary of his combative attitude.

Projection

Brent:

Rich, okay, that being said, where do you project the Husky CBs draft spot and how do you gauge his long-term success?

Rich:

He will go in the 2nd round due to his attitude, and the associated baggage from being dismissed by UW.

However judicious NFL teams might be in evaluating him, his impact on the UW Huskies pass defense was stark. They lost 3 of the last 5 games of the season while he was not on the field.  In addition, they gave up more yardage than they should have based on their season averages. Plain and simple this guy can shut down #1 receivers!

NFL teams will see him as a 2nd round pick with 1st round talent and 1st round headache to coach.  His baggage could get him run out of the league.

Brent:

Baggage is right! Peters is the Samsonite of Husky draft prospects.

If he came out in last year’s draft, I would agree with your 2nd round assessment but, the 2015 draft does not have the same depth of quality CB prospects.

I envision a team taking a gamble on the temperamental former Husky in the first round.  The mere fact that Peters could go before UW standout Shaq Thompson is troubling, but that’s another story.

Peters has said a lot of the right things since his dismissal. He’s even evidently made up with Coach Petersen and staff.  Of course, it’s easy to say the right things when there is a lot of money on the line. Call me suspicious of him turning over a new leaf.

Certain NFL teams will likely share my skepticism, but in a pass-happy league, some team will take a long look at the talented CB early in the draft and decide whether he’s worth the risk.

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Abraham DeWeese is an avid local sports fan and a “Man-About-Town” in the Seattle sports scene. He's a lifelong resident of the Seattle area, living in the beautiful Greenlake neighborhood.