Leading up to the draft, Who Dey Live will be profiling a number of players who could be targets for the Bengals based on their position or their expected draft spot.
Here are my own thoughts on LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson.
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Size: 6 feet – 219 pounds
What I like: Peterson has the size to play safety, which might be the Bengals’ biggest weakness right now. Some scouts consider him to be the best player in the draft and he has excellent return skills in addition to his defensive prowess. I also like the idea of Cincinnati finally getting its own answer to Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu. And Peterson would also provide insurance if the team can’t re-sign Jonathan Joseph when the labor contract is settled.
What I don’t like: I would imagine that if the team drafts Peterson, it will also signal the exit of Joseph. I’d prefer to see a defensive backfield with both. Plus, Peterson might not be all that enthusiastic about playing safety, which requires more physicality than the corner position.
Final thoughts: Peterson is at the top of my wish list for the Bengals. He dominated the SEC, the best division in college football and played very well against Alabama receiver Julio Jones, who is a potential top 10 pick. If the Bengals could return their secondary with Peterson penciled in at safety, the defensive backfield could be one of the best in the entire league. Plus, Peterson’s skills on punt and kickoff returns could be a huge weapon in the field position battle. There’s a lot to love. Which is why I heart Peterson.