LSU’s Peterson doesn’t hit goal in 40, but blazes

UPDATE: Peterson officially clocked in at 4.34 seconds, second-best among cornerbacks and tied for second-best among all players at the combine.

INDIANAPOLIS — We don’t see a lot of cornerbacks like LSU’s Patrick Peterson. At 6-foot 1/4 and 219 pounds, he has more size than most players at the position and also is an outstanding athlete in every sense of the word.

A natural cornerback, it’s believed that Peterson’s cover skills and versatility will allow him to play multiple roles in an NFL secondary. For good measure, he’s also an outstanding special-teams player.

So the consensus top cornerback available in the draft — who could grade out as the draft’s best player — certainly did nothing to hurt his stock by running unofficial times of 4.32 and 4.37 seconds Tuesday at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Even if Peterson came to Indy believing a sub-4.3 time was a realistic goal, his time qualifies among the fastest at the combine. Looking at unofficial times, he trails just Tennessee-Chattanooga CB Buster Skrine, who ran a combine-best 4.29 on Tuesday.

Peterson is a player whom NFL Network analyst Michael Lombardi calls the “cleanest” in the draft, meaning he carries limited risk, much like safety Eric Berry last year. With no red flags in his draft profile and combine workouts that translate to game tape, the only thing that might keep Peterson from being the top overall pick is the fact he’s a cornerback.

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