Kevin Peterson, CB, Oklahoma State: Early Scouting Report


Aug 30, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Oklahoma State Cowboys cornerback Kevin Peterson (1) tackles Florida State Seminoles wide receiver Rashad Greene (80) during the second quarter at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The next featured prospect to show up on my early scouting reports series is the uber talented, lockdown cornerback Kevin Peterson from Oklahoma State. He joins a very deep pool of cornerback prospects for the 2016 NFL Draft, and should be in that consideration for one of the top spots on that list of players. I can’t wait to show you guys what I saw from him, and I want to hear your voice via Twitter, the comments, or any other social media source to see what you think as well!


(5’11”, 195 lbs) Senior cornerback who was named to the preseason 1st Team All Big 12 squad after a productive season in 2014 with 13 pass breakups and 2 interceptions. He showed last year why he is one of the most feared cornerbacks in all of the Big 12 if not the nation when he shutdown top draft pick Kevin White when they faced off against West Virginia last year.


+ Definitely the best part of Peterson’s game is his physicality and his ability to get his hands on a receiver in press coverage at the LOS. He plays with violent hands yet with patient feet that won’t take a false step in his backpedal which puts him at an advantageous position to where he derails the receiver off of his path. Even in run support, his passion and physicality does not stop. He is a reliable tackler with that occasional chance of laying the lumber on his opponent if given the opportunity. His physicality in man coverage is on display here.

+ Outside of Vernon Hargreaves III, Kevin Peterson is the best true shutdown cornerback in man coverage. It does not matter where you put Peterson. You can put him in either Off Man or Press and he will accept any challenge on his island to shut them down. The most noticeable visitor on KP island is top draft pick Kevin White. Peterson mugged him at the LOS as well as mirroring his routes in Off Man. If you are looking for pure man coverage skills at the cornerback position, KP is your guy. Here is a clip backing up that statement.

+ As I mentioned earlier about his play strength in both coverage and run support, he is a terrific open field tackler. As he reads his run/pass keys, he can easily shed the block with disruptive hands, and then in turn, disrupt the ball carrier from getting any more extra yards with a safe tackle showing low pad level. His physicality definitely transitions to the run game as he will rarely miss an open field tackle when given the opportunity. I can easily say that he is probably the most fundamentally sound cornerback in college football today.

+ After just mentioning his fundamentals, his football IQ and footwork are outstanding as well. He never takes a false step in his reads and backpedal, and will react to get to the receiver’s hip pocket. Unlike most young cornerbacks, he knows when to undercut routes to go for the ball, and when to be a bit conservative. Has that kind of discipline to him that most players his age don’t have.


– I have been on record to say that Kevin Peterson is not the greatest athlete at the cornerback position. With the athletic freaks at the NFL level, he may struggle against the speed burners like TY Hilton and DeSean Jackson in Off Man. He has played very well against top competition in the Big 12, but I question his long speed to cover against those kinds of deep threats.

– Peterson’s ball skills are fairly average. He can be a bit inconsistent with his hands and tracking of the ball, but this knock is definitely not keeping me from sleeping each night. I would like him to read the WR’s eyes better so he can understand when the ball is going to be there, but he has showed enough for me to be too concerned here. He just needs to improve here a bit.

– I have already talked about his rare reaction skills due to his fundamentally strong feel for the game, but he will give up some separation in Off Man if he either misreads or is slow at reading the situation. When this happens he either leaves a gap for the receiver to throw it in or he will grab. Here is an example here.

NFL Comparison

Sam Shields/Jonathan Joseph

* Both of these two players are not the biggest guys or most athletic at their position, but will body you up in man coverage and have the ability to take any certain receiver out of a game entirely. That is what I see with Kevin Peterson as he has the cover skills of a physical, shutdown cornerback that can play both Off and Press. Both Joseph and Shields are Pro Bowl cornerbacks in the NFL, and I believe Kevin Peterson can reach that kind of level and production if he keeps improving his technique and ball skills as Oklahoma State’s most reliable player on defense.

Projection for ’15/’16

* Kevin Peterson is one of the safest players/prospects in the 2016 NFL Draft, and I can see him living up to his preseason hype as he did last season with another stellar season as the Big 12’s best cornerback. If you are not a believer of Kevin Peterson yet, he will show you why you should be in 2015.

Next: Jaydon Mickens Early Scouting Report