Patrick Peterson, the consensus best player in the NFL Draft for 2011, is the Arizona Cardinals’ pick. An astoundingly talented physical cornerback described almost exclusively as a “freak”, Peterson won’t sell as many tickets as a guy like Blaine Gabbert, but he’ll terrify quarterbacks and special teams immediately as a cornerback and a kick-returner.
The Cardinals’ NFC West collapse was based as much on their terrible defense as their post-Kurt-Warner offense. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, the Cardinals’ top cornerback, is coming off something of a down season after being the Cardinals’ first overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft.
This makes the Cardinals somewhat more likely to choose a quarterback like Kevin Kolb in free agency, to give John Skelton some competition at the position immediately.
Kudos to the Cardinals, who refused to draft for need despite having so many of them. Blaine Gabbert would be a big pick for Cardinals fans dreaming about tomorrow, but Patrick Peterson will help this defense today.