LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson is careful not to compare himself to Charles Woodson, but the two have struck up a friendship and Peterson admits, “I definitely want to pattern my game” after the Green Bay Packers star.
The top-rated prospect in the 2011 draft by NFLDraftScout.com, Peterson’s chances of securing a top five selection would certainly be helped with Woodson’s versatility. Some scouts consider Peterson a potential candidate to move to safety, but he hopes to dispel that thought with his combine workout Tuesday.
Peterson, who said he has seven percent body fat, is aiming to run in the 4.2-second range in the 40-yard dash despite adding about seven pounds of muscle and measuring in at 6-feet and 219 pounds.
“I feel pretty swift the way I am, I feel fast, I feel quick, I feel more fluid at the weight I am right now,” said Peterson. “I don’t want to go out there and try to kill myself trying to lose weight because I have very little body fat. I believe I’m good at the weight I’m at right now.”
Peterson said he ran a 4.29 a week ago. If he can approach that time Tuesday, Peterson will secure his spot ahead of Nebraska’s Prince Amukamara as the clear No. 1 cornerback in the draft - and a 6-footer with good ball skills and that type of speed should finally squash talk of a move to safety.
Peterson said he’s willing to move if an NFL teams asks him to, but it’s clear his preference is to remain at cornerback. And the main weakness he pointed out was his lack of experience playing zone. But that can be considered a good problem to have because LSU teaches the much more difficult press corner technique.
"I want to work on my zone coverage. We barely did that at LSU,” Peterson said. “A lot of people are saying I can’t backpedal and things like that, but I definitely can. I was just going through the style of play that (LSU defensive backs) coach (Ron) Cooper and (former LSU head) coach (Nick) Saban taught me. I definitely want to show the media, all you guys, that I can backpedal and change direction as well.”