One of the most decorated defensive backs ever in one season in college football history, Patrick Peterson was able to come into the year as one of the noted best players in the country and dominate all season long against SEC competition on route to multiple post season awards. While a big part of his success is thanks to his length and athleticism, he has been able to take the next step from great to elite because of his instincts and understanding of the game.
He could be a cornerback is just about every system and likely even an elite safety as well with time. A soft-spoken, hard working kid with no known character issues, Peterson has every right to be in the discussion for the top overall pick because it's rare to find a high character, productive, elite level talent at any position in any year of the draft.
Peterson as an overall defensive back is very far along in terms of how he uses his skills to maximize he potential production. First off, he has been able to continuously make plays on the ball with his hands, both in knocking passes away when the receiver is in control in the air and the ability to grab the ball himself and make a play with the ball in his hands. He is quick off the snap and can break up quick routes as well as stay with double moves.
He reacts quickly to the receivers routes and anticipates so well. Peterson runs with great speed on the field and can be a dominate Cover 3 cornerback because he can contain a wide part of the field. He could get stronger, part of the reason he has tried to bulk up, as he has been out muscled at times, and if he hopes to be an elite cornerback, he'll need to be able to contain all sorts of receivers.
A remarkable talent who developed so well over his college career and finishing if off with one of the most dominate seasons ever for a cornerback, Patrick Peterson has thrusted himself in the mix for the Top 3 and I would be shocked if he's not a Top 5 talent on every board in the NFL.
Cornerbacks usually aren't valued in the Top 10 area unless the talent is rare, but Peterson is that type of talent. No real glaring weaknesses in his game, he has the quickness, hip fluidity, instincts, and developed technique to be an instant starter and impact maker in the NFL.
He will need to continue developing his skill set and not settling for where he is right now, but as you can see by his steady development over his career at LSU, he is willing to continue to improve and not settle. Peterson can fit in any system in the NFL and is one of the few surefire difference makers in every draft that is obviously won't be a "bust".