Well, LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson clearly doesn’t shy away from challenges or lofty goals.
What does he hope to run in the 40-yard dash Tuesday at the NFL Combine? Peterson said he wanted to clock in at 4.2 seconds, a mark which would break the event record of 4.24 seconds.
What about matching up against elite wide receivers in Georgia’s A.J. Green and Alabama’s Julio Jones in college? Peterson played five of his 32 games at LSU against the future first-round duo. That was great, he said, but he would have preferred to have played 27 more.
“It could be even better if I could play those guys each and every week,” Peterson said. “Because in the NFL it’s the Joneses and Greens each and every Sunday.”
Peterson, who said he ran a 4.29 40-yard dash a week ago, checked in at 6-foot, 219 pounds. His size has fueled some speculation that he will eventually transition to safety in the NFL. Peterson said the subject has yet to come up with NFL teams. And he’s sure not bringing it up. He’d prefer to stay put.
“I feel my best game is at cornerback,” Peterson said. “But if an NFL team needs me to play the safety position, I’m definitely more than willing to transition my game to the safety position.”
Later, he said of playing safety, “If it so happens, it happens and I’ll just have to live with it.”
Peterson comes from a football family. He is related to four current NFL players: Bryant McFadden, Walter McFadden, Santana Moss and Sinorice Moss.
• On the second question lobbed Prince Amukamara’s way, a reporter addressed him as “Patrick,” as in Patrick Peterson, the cornerback he’s rated behind in the draft.
“You called me Patrick,” the Nebraska cornerback said calmly and without a hint of irritation – as if he was noting his questioner had ketchup on his mouth.
It was the start of an impressive media performance by Amukamara, who was poised and flashed a quiet confidence.
At one point Amukamara was asked about getting “burned” this season by Oklahoma State’s Justin Blackmon, who had five catches for 157 yards and two touchdowns in a 51-41 loss to Nebraska.
“Justin Blackmon is a real good wide receiver,” he said. “He only got me on two plays and they were (both) in the first half. I corrected it in the second half. And I had a better second half and our team won.”
The 6-foot, 206-pound Amukamara is overwhelmingly viewed as the second-best cornerback in the draft, but he’s not checking his mock-draft status.
“I’m not someone who Googles themselves,” he explained.
He’s also not planning to start his professional career on the bench, “I’m definitely not trying to redshirt in the NFL,” he said.