Among the most alarming terms that can be associated with a cornerback is “stiff,” referring to the inability of the defensive back to fluidly flip his hips, run and cover a wideout.
On Thursday’s NFL Network conference call with the media, draft analyst Mike Mayock used the same word when discussing LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson.
“He’s got a little bit of stiffness to him,” said Mayock, adding that Peterson is “most comfortable in press-man (coverage),” but explaining that the 2010 Thorpe Award winner “might be best served as a safety.
“He might be an All-Pro safety.”
Peterson is listed at 6-foot-1 and 222 pounds, and Mayock isn’t the first media member to suggest a position switch for the over-sized corner. Mayock even compared Peterson to Antrel Rolle, an early-career cornerback for the Cardinals who busted at the more valuable position before resurrecting his career at safety.
A more recent example of an All-American college corner who made this transition in the NFL was Malcolm Jenkins of Ohio State.
Jenkins was widely considered a surefire top 8-10 pick entering the 2009 NFL Combine. He fell to the Saints at No. 14 after running a forty time in the mid-4.5s, and is now the starting free safety in New Orleans.