Pro Day Tour Prospect of Day: Peters

We take a deep look at Washington's talented but controversial cornerback, Marcus Peters, complete with his scouting report straight from the NFL's longtime head scout.

Based on where the Green Bay Packers deployed their scouts, we present our Prospect of the Day, featuring career notes and a large segment of his official NFL scouting report, courtesy of the NFL’s longtime head scout and frequent Packer Report contributor Dave-Te’ Thomas.

Washington CB Marcus Peters

CAREER NOTES

— Peters started 27-of-34 contests for the Huskies – 11 at the “field” position and 16 at the “boundary” spot…Recorded 129 tackles (95 solos) with one sack, 6.5 stops for losses and one quarterback pressure…Caused one fumble and recovered three others, advancing one 53 yards for a touchdown…Deflected 25 passes and intercepted 11 others,…Also blocked an extra point attempt and registered six tackles for the team’s coverage units (five on kickoffs, one on a punt).

— Allowed 59-of-198 passes targeted into his area (29.80 percent) to be completed for 581 yards, two touchdowns and 25 first downs, an average of 9.85 yards per pass completion and 2.93 yards per pass attempt…Registered 55 third-down plays and five more on fourth-down snaps vs. the passing game, as he not only defended a total of 36 passes but rerouted his coverage assignments away from 81 of those 198 targeted tosses (43.82 percent) while coming across field to post 14 touchdown-saving tackles after opponents had eluded other Husky defenders.

— Among active NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision players, Peters is tied for the Pac-12 Conference lead and is seventh nationally, along with Oregon’s Ifo Ekpre-Olomu with 33 passes defended, as that figure tied Paul Woodward of Division II Northern State for the 12th-best total among all of college football’s active athletes…His 11 interceptions are the most for any active player in the conference, and the only active FBS players with more are Derron Smith-Fresno State (14), Lorenzo Doss of Tulane (13) and Kevin Byard-Middle Tennessee State (13)…His average of 0.37 pass thefts per game is the eighth-best among active major-college players.

— In 2014, he was named to The NFL Draft Report’s All-American preseason first-team and the watch lists for the Jim Thorpe Award (nation’s top defensive back) and Bronko Nagurski Award (nation’s best defensive player). The redshirt junior started three of team’s four games, serving a one-game suspension vs. Illinois for an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty call the previous week vs. Eastern Washington. He was later dismissed from the team after the Colorado contest, finishing with 30 tackles (25 solos) that included four stops behind the line of scrimmage…Intercepted three passes and deflected seven others…Had 52 passes targeted into his area, allowing 18 completions (34.6 percent) for 206 yards (3.96 yards per attempt) and a pair of touchdowns.

— In 2013, Peters was selected all-Pac 12 Conference second-team by the league’s coaches and media, despite having the best performance for any cornerback in the Pac-12…The redshirt sophomore led the Huskies and ranked fifth in the conference with five interceptions, tying his 2012 mark for 10th on the school season-record chart with nine pass deflections…Allowed just 25 completions of 89 passes targeted into his area (28.09%), good for 177 yards, an average of 7.08 yards per completion and 1.99 yards per attempt…The opposition managed to complete 60.77 percent of their other passes (254-of-418) for 2,782 yards, an average of 214.0 yards per game, vs. the rest of the 14 defended, Peters rerouted his coverage assignments away from 41 of those 89 targeted throws (46.07 percent), making plays on 22 third-down snaps and two fourth-down plays while posting five touchdown-saving tackles (came out of his area after receivers broke away from other Huskies) with one stop behind the line of scrimmage vs. the aerial game.

— In 2012, Peters started the final eight games. The redshirt freshman was often challenged by opposing quarterbacks, as they targeted 57 tosses into his area, but were limited to only sixteen completions (28.07%) for 187 yards, an average of 11.69 yards per pass completion and 3.28 yards per attempt…In man coverage, Peters rerouted his assignments away from 21 of those targeted 57 throws (36.84 percent).

INJURY REPORT

No major injuries reported and the player has never missed a game due to injury.

AGILITY TESTS

4.53 in the 40-yard dash…1.60 10-yard dash…2.66 20-yard dash…4.08 20-yard shuttle… 11.26 60-yard shuttle…7.08 three-cone drill…37 1/2-inch vertical jump…10’-01” broad jump…Bench pressed 225 pounds 17 times…31 1/2-inch arm length…8 3/8-inch hands…79-inch wingspan.

SCOUTING ANALYSIS

Peters was booted off the team during the season for his constant bickering with the coaching staff, most stemming from his anger issues that resulted in him being suspended for one game due to targeting. Scouts liken his pass defense skills to Denver’s Aqib Talib, but see his draft path heading down the same path Talib’s took – a blue-chip first-round talent who has GMs afraid to use their opening pick on an athlete who definitely has anger management and maturity issues.

Playing in eight of the team’s first nine games, he recorded 30 tackles with seven pass break-ups and despite sitting out the final third of the schedule he still led the team with three interceptions. Opponents targeted 52 passes into his area in 2014. Peters allowed only four receptions through his first four appearances, but was then torched for 14 catches that included two touchdowns during his final four appearances.

Peters is a short strider with that explosive second gear and burst to close in an instant.

The cornerback has the loose hips to redirect, doing a nice job of planting and driving out of his breaks. He has the valid speed to stay with his assignment on deep patterns and does a nice job of getting his body in the way to prevent catches over the opponent’s outside shoulder.

The former Husky can close in an instant and is very quick to react to the ball in flight, showing natural hands to make the interception or pass deflection. He has the burst needed to accelerate and close on plays at the opposite end of the field and has the second gear to catch up on rare times that he is beaten.

Peters is a very alert player, especially in man coverage, using his press skills to reroute/jam receivers away from 81 of the 198 passes targeted into his area. The thing that you see on game film is the suddenness he displays in distinguishing between run and pass plays. He is so quick to identify his keys and react to the play, that receivers barely have time to get out of their stance before he is all over them. He works hard to defend his responsibilities and has excellent vision when it comes to recognizing blocking schemes.

Peters is highly consistent when it comes to maintaining position on the receiver, and he has enough skills to play the trail, cover or cushion. He has the foot speed to run with any receiver stride for stride. He never seems to be out of position, especially when down field and he has the recovery speed to get back on the play on those rare times when a receiver gets behind him.

He’s one of the best “press men” in college and has the size and strength to jam at the line, along with the turning ability to mirror in the short area or when playing off coverage. He is very good at maintaining leverage on posts and always seems to be quick in transition, especially when covering on a nine-route.

Peters is a former track standout with loose hips and crisp change of direction agility. He is never sloppy or takes extra steps in his pedal, even though he has more than enough valid speed to get away with it and recover. He’s a smooth, fluid mover who makes man coverage “look easy,” as he has that uber-quick motions needed to recover from rare transition glitches. His feet appear well-balanced when retreating and his hips are loose, making him able to turn on the receiver’s hip and mirror heading up field.

Peters is a huge problem for a “lazy” quarterback, as he will never bite on misdirection or play action. He has that outstanding natural ability to break on the ball and when it comes to making the interception, he’s like a vacuum going after the sphere. He has superb foot quickness and body control to step in front of the receiver. He can transition on a time-and-burst to make the play and even vs. the bigger receivers or when working in a crowd, he has no problem tracking the ball in flight.

Peters is well known for getting great elevation to track the ball while it is in flight (see 2014 Georgia State and 2013 Oregon State and Stanford games). He has no problem challenging the much bigger receivers to get to the pigskin at its highest point. He just has great lift and plenty of courage, as he has gained a lot of success picking the ball off in tight areas.

Peters will never hesitate to come up and support vs. the run. He has very quick hands and uses them well to fend off low blocks and utilizes his upper body strength to take on bigger blockers and shed. He’s a fearless open field hitter. He is a better run stuffer than most college cornerbacks (has made six stops-for-loss and taken down runners at the line of scrimmage for no gain on eleven other attempts – see 2014 Stanford and 2013 Illinois and UCLA games). He is a valid factor vs. the run, as he always will get involved and leverage, doing so with little-to-no delay.

Peters can be an explosive hitter, as he will consistently square up and “put his hat under the chin” of an opponent. He flashes power as a striker and will not hesitate to take on the big fullback to clog the rush lanes. He’s a solid wrap-up tackler who can hit and he can punish. He makes nice adjustments to break down and fit in the open field and has enough brute strength to explode into an opponent upon contact.


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