Mock drafts are fun, although mostly irrelevant to what will actually happen when the NFL Draft takes place. But we still look at them to see what various writers think the Dallas Cowboys might do. It is becoming evident that cornerback is a position of great interest for Dallas this year. Between pre-draft visits and private workouts, the Cowboys have looked at eight top 100 cornerbacks from the current class.
One of those names is Marcus Peters of the University of Washington. He currently is ranked as the 26th overall talent on the CBS big board, which would put him right in range for the Cowboys at 27. One of the recent mock drafts by Josh Norris at Rotoworld had him as the Dallas pick.
27. Dallas Cowboys - CB Marcus Peters, Washington - Peters visited the Cowboys, along with a number of other corners. I believe most of the other names mentioned will be off the board at No. 27, other than P.J. Williams. Peters is aggressive on the outside, and the Cowboys have shown they are willing to work with players other teams are not.
Peters is obviously talented, and listed as the top name on a list at the Dallas Morning News of ten players the Cowboys might target with their first round pick. But notice that bit about the Cowboys being willing to work with players? Peters comes with some significant warning flags. He was dismissed from the Huskies on November 5th last season, and he admits that it was probably overdue after a series of issues he had.
Peters would've booted himself after his sideline tantrum in the home opener against Eastern Washington -the most public display of the immaturity Peters admits was the downfall of his college career, raising one big red flag on the best cornerback in this year's NFL draft.
He is rated as one of ten high-risk, high-profile prospects by The Sporting News. The Cowboys have shown they are willing to take risks on troubled players such as Rolando McClain and Greg Hardy. If Peters is indeed the best corner in the draft, then he probably does merit some serious consideration.
The problem is whether or not it is valid to say he is the best corner available. First, the way he would fit for the Cowboys has to be factored in. Just because he is the best for some teams does not mean he is the best for Dallas. And there are some very legitimate questions about that. Bob Sturm just took a look at him, and he saw some things that should give pause.
I need my corner to be a physical man on the flank - especially at that size - who wants to mix it up and take a toll on those who dare mess with him underneath. I just don't see that consistently as you could accuse him of too many "business decisions" as a corner that may count Deion Sanders as an inspiration. Sanders is one of the all-time greats, but there were times where "team defense" never seemed like a great priority, and Peters is the same way.
With the caveat that this is just one writer's opinion, that reads very much like someone who is not going to fit into a Rod Marinelli-led defense. "Team defense" seems to be a key attribute of what he wants his players to give him. It is hard to imagine a cornerback who shies away from making a tackle being someone who the Cowboys would want to invest in with a first round pick.
This is part of the issue with mock drafts, especially those done by a single writer. Draftniks may study the players extensively, but they seldom have enough knowledge of how each of the various teams approach the draft. They focus more on needs and how players fit on an overall ranking. Team culture and specific scheme fit often are poorly understood, if considered at all. While the Cowboys may be willing and able to deal with the issues that led to Peters being kicked off his college team, they are not likely to seriously consider a player who is not going to play the way the coaches demand.
Anticipating the draft is about trying to figure out who the team wants, which means weeding out the ones it doesn't. Only the Cowboys' staff knows what they really think about Peters, but based on all the things we have observed the past few years, this just does not seem like a fit, especially in the first round.