Cowboys Draft Profile: CB Marcus Peters

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Marcus Peters, CB, Washington
Ht. 5115, Wt. 197, Arm: 31 1/2", Hand: 8 3/8", Bench: 17
40 yd: 4.53, 10 yd.: 1.61, 3 Cone: 7.08, Vertical: 37.5", Broad: 10'1"
Games Watched: at Oregon St. (2013), at Stanford (2013), at Hawaii

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Washington cornerback Marcus Peters will be an interesting case to follow during the draft process. He's as talented in coverage as any cornerback prospect drafted in the last few years and he intercepted 11 passes in just 34 college games.

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Peters was dismissed from the Washington football team, reportedly for arguing with coaches. So while his ability is evident on tape, scouts and coaches will have to rely on interviews to decide if his personality will fit their teams.

Strengths

Much like Randy Gregory, Peters is basically how NFL coaches would draw up a player at his position. He has ideal size and length for a cornerback and he uses it well, excelling in press-man coverage. In fact, he nearly knocked a Hawaii wide receiver over backward with his jam.

He plays tight coverage, especially man, and takes advantage of his recovery speed by often looking to jump routes. He blitzes well and tries to rip the ball out against runners. The NFL is a splash play league, and Peters plays like he understands that.

Peters plays the run better than most cornerback prospects from the last few years. He plants and drives (stops his backpedal and runs forward) very quickly and easily fights through blocks from wide receivers and even fullbacks.

Weaknesses

The obvious downside to Peters is his dismissal from school in November after reportedly having several arguments with coaches. Some NFL personnel evidently don’t think it’s much of an issue, but interviews will be very important.

The physicality and aggression he plays with can also be a detriment at times. He can be a bit “grabby” in man coverage, which the NFL clearly doesn’t like. Plus, looking to jump routes left him open to double moves at times as well.

Fluid hips (smooth transition from backpedal  to running, for example), might be the most important trait for a good cornerback. Peters isn’t stiff, but he’s not that smooth either. It’s a minor gripe, but NFL wide receivers will be able gain slight separation on breaks if he doesn’t improve.

Verdict: Top-15 Talent With Questions

Peters looks like the quintessential Seahawks cornerback, and he could probably step in that system and be another Byron Maxwell right now. The Cowboys need an injection of youth in the secondary, especially with Claiborne and Carr potentially being cut.

On talent alone, Peters should be gone well before the Cowboys pick 27th overall, but questions about his "character" might push him down or off some boards. Defensive tackle Josh Brent is still on the roster, so Jerry Jones seems willing to overlook a few transgressions.

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