Patrick Peterson, widely considered the top cornerback in this year’s draft, is visiting with the Cleveland Browns today.
As a junior at LSU, Peterson was a dynamic playmaker on one of the best defenses in the country. Patterson recorded four interceptions and 42 tackles last year, numbers that are good when they stand alone but are even more impressive when you consider opposing quarterbacks were hardly looking at his side of the field, let alone throwing to it. He even made an impact on special teams as a punt returner (despite getting ahead of himself when striking the Heisman pose in the fourth game of the season).
Peterson is a very-likely top-10 pick, and a few “experts” think he’s the top prospect in the draft. His blazing 4.34 second 40 yard dash at the combine turned heads, but it’s his play on the field that suggests he’ll be a lock down corner in the NFL.
After the Browns drafted Florida cornerback Joe Haden in the first round last year, you’d think they’d focus on other areas of need with the sixth overall pick. At the combine, General Manager Tom Heckert said he wouldn’t shy away from drafting another cornerback in the first round. Mike Holmgren expanded on Heckert’s thoughts, ''We added some people to the secondary last year, which really helped us. But they are young,'' Holmgren said. ''You can never have too many corners.''
The Browns have multiple holes to fill in a variety of different areas on the field -- mainly on the defensive line and at wide receiver. Cleveland is also considering quarterbacks Cam Newton and Blaine Gabbert with their first round pick, so news about Peterson visiting the Browns just confirms that the team is considering all their options with their first round pick.
Still, thinking about Joe Haden, T.J. Ward and Patrick Peterson in the same secondary, comprising what could be the NFL’s best secondary in a few years, is both terrifying and entertaining.
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