We are in the NFC east which is a fairly pass heavy division in a now seemingly "Pass-First" league. Our Cowboys ranked 6th in the league in Passing offense with the Redskins, Eagles and Giants ranking 8th, 9th and 10th respectively last year in passing yards per game. Just out of my own curiosity I wanted to look into how much of an advantage a guy like Patrick Peterson would be in acquisition to battle this successfully pass heavy division. So lets take it team by team, but lets start with analyzing Patrick Peterson first.
Ok, so Patrick Peterson entered the combine at 6' 3/8" (although NFL.com lists him @ 6' even) and 219 lbs. Now that makes him not quite as tall as many receivers in the league but definitely just as "Beefy" as you might say. He has 32" arms and 9 1/4" hands. He ran the 40 officially at 4.34 and registered a 38" vertical. Its nice to say you have a great vertical but what is the highest point you can reach with it? A guy who is 5' 10" could have an astonishing 42" vertical, but he won't be able to reach as high as a 6' 4" guy with a 36" vertical since the taller guy is definitely going to have longer arms. Just to be safe and estimate I would say that you subtract 1' from the height of a player to get his shoulder height (less than a foot but this can vary from person to person) and then add his arm length to that to find his standing reach, then add the vertical for his overall reach. This isn't 100% accurate but that would put Patrick Peterson's overall reach somewhere in the neighborhood of 10' 10 3/8" for his highest reach point (now referred to as HRP). So we all know the guy has great measurables, but how would he stack up against the competition in the NFC East?
Washington Redskins - since they ranked second in PYG in the NFC East, we will look at them first. We'll just take a look at the #1 receiver since that is who Peterson would eventually most likely line up with. So for the Redskins, who don't have a "blue-chipper" (yet) at wideout, we will take Santana Moss (ranked #10 in yards amongst receivers). Santana Moss is 5' 10" and listed at 209 lbs and has 30 3/4" arms. Information I have found (which was probably 11 years ago at his combine) lists him at a 4.31 40-time and a 42" vertical. According to my formula this puts him at a 10' 10 3/4" HRP, slightly higher than Patrick Peterson. He is in his 11th season now so these stats could very well be much less than they are listed. As a side note, the Redskins may very well try to take a player like Julio Jones in the draft this year. We have all heard of the battle between these two in college and how evenly matched it was.
Philadelphia Eagles - DeSean Jackson (ranked #12 in total yards last year, #1 in YPC amongst players with 40+ catches) is listed at 5' 10" and 175 lbs. He runs a 4.35 40, has a 35" vertical and 31 3/8" arms. So this would put him at a 10' 4 3/8" HRP. As far as measurables, a guy like Peterson is in every way superior to Jackson except speed which they are just about dead even. Being that Jackson loves to get behind defenses and go deep (shown by his 47 catches last year with a 22.5 yard average, having a guy like Peterson who is just as fast, much bigger, more physical, stronger taller and jumps higher could go a long way to shutting down one of the biggest home run threats in the league. As a side note, Peterson might even be a much better punt returner than Jackson.
New York Giants - Hakeem Nicks (listed #13 in yards last year, and tied for 3rd with 11 TDs) is listed at 6' even, 215 lbs. He registered a 4.51 40 time, 38 in vertical jump and 33 1/2" arms. That puts him at a 10' 11 1/2" HRP. Nicks is regarded as being fairly physical and strong so he could match with Peterson there. Peterson though is much faster and could definitely keep pace with him down the field or make up for lost ground on a double move or something similar. This would probably be the best match up for Peterson in the division, unless the Julio Jones or A.J. Green enter the fray with the skins.
As you can see, Peterson would significantly improve our Secondary in this division going up against these guys. There is an argument that he would eventually be moved to safety because of his weight, but he could possibly keep it down or even lose a bit. We'll have to see. I think he would be a great asset and if Newman starts playing really well during the season, maybe you can get something for him and trade him off for a future draft pick and plug in Peterson at his spot for the foreseeable future. If this guys begins to slip, I definitely think it is worth considering to move up to get him. It all depends on who you like the most. Either way you look at it, we are coming out of this draft with a Great Player for a first round pick. And just one last side note, everyone talks about teams trying to trade up to get ahead of the skins to grab Jones or Green. What is to stop the Skins from moving up to one of the top spots to have first dibs on a receiver? Like maybe trading up with the Cardinals?
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