LSU junior cornerback Patrick Peterson, winner of both the Jim Thorpe Award for the nation's best defensive back and the Chuck Bednarik Award for the country's best overall defensive player declared for the NFL draft this week. Scout.com's Charlie Bernstein caught up with Peterson in this exclusive interview.
Charlie Bernstein: How does it feel gaining all these postseason honors with the Thorpe and Bednarik Awards?
Patrick Peterson: Those are very, very special awards. To be mentioned, to even be a candidate for DPOY. I have to thank the defensive staff, the players that were around me, I played around a great group of guys that put me in this position to go out there and make plays and help this defense and LSU win ballgames.
CB: What's it like playing for an unconventional coach such as Les Miles?
PP: Coach Miles brings his 'A' game to the table every week. We have a great game plan going into each and every game and we don't like to win like that but we'll take a 'W' any way we can.
CB: What can you bring to an NFL team?
PP: I bring a winning mentality. I hate losing, I hate going down as the second man going into battle. I always want to be the first man on top. I can bring a lot of things to an NFL team. Whatever they need me to do I'm more than willing to do it. If they need me to catch punts, if they need me to guard a receiver or play safety, I can do anything. I can bring a lot to the table for any NFL team.
CB: So you're willing to do whatever to help a team win, what is your ideal position?
PP: I love playing cornerback.
PP: Those guys are definitely the prototype wide receivers. They're big, physical, fast, swift. Those guys can do what Terrell Owens and Ochocinco are doing. Those guys can make the big plays and it's my job to keep the ball out of their hands and I think I did a pretty good job the last two years I went against those guys. Those guys I think prepared me well if I choose to make the decision and go to the NFL.
CB: Which NFL player do you compare yourself to?
PP: I love watching Charles Woodson. I think I can compare myself to Charles Woodson and I also compare myself to Darrelle Revis so it's kind of a toss-up. I think I'd go with Charles Woodson because he can play anything you ask him to do. Sometimes you might see him at rover linebacker, playing safety, returning punts. He can do it all for the Green Bay Packers team and that's what I want to do someday when I end up entering the draft.
CB: Earlier in the season you gave the "Heisman" pose on a return score, what was that all about?
PP: That was kind of a thing that happened on the spot. I wasn't really thinking about doing it, it was just something that happened.
CB: Some draft experts have said that you're the best cornerback prospect since Darrelle Revis. How does that make you feel?
PP: It's an honor, it makes me feel good and it means I've achieved almost everything I wanted to coming into college. It's truly a blessing to be in the same boat as a guy who's shutting down NFL receivers now. I have to continue taking it a day at a time and I believe that I have some more things I can work on and get better at so I'm definitely going to do that in the offseason and we'll see how much better I can get during the offseason.
CB: What can you get better at?
PP: I believe I can get better at staying low, backpedal speed, I backpedal pretty decent but you have some really fast guys like DeSean Jackson so I need to be a little bit better prepared for those guys if I do make the jump.