Is this the year it all comes together for Patrick Peterson as one of the NFL's true difference-makers?
Cardinals general manager Steve Keim insists he's never been a part of a team with a more valuable defensive player. Keim even compares Peterson to two of the most dynamic athletes ever to play American professional sports.
"From an ability standpoint, I've never seen anything like him. He's the closest thing in the league to a Bo Jackson, a Deion Sanders," Keim recently told Robert Klemko of TheMMQB.com. "I've seen him stand on the field flat-footed and throw the ball 65-70 yards. He goes out to practice as a wideout, and runs a 10- and 15-yard out as well as anyone on our team. His value to our team is really unparalleled."
Although Peterson's game hasn't quite lived up to his reputation, it's unfair to label Keim's statement as hyperbole. As an NFL cornerback, Peterson is an anomaly. You just don't see 6-foot-1, 220-pound corners -- much less ones who threatened Chris Johnson's NFL Scouting Combine record in the 40-yard dash -- in today's pass-heavy NFL.
Peterson is one of the rare cornerbacks used to shadow No. 1 receivers around the field. If he's going to meet Keim's expectations, Peterson will have to become more consistent in locking down those wideouts.