Reaching deep on this one for a late round prospect who seems a like a excellent fit for Indy, especially after hearing Polian stress the importance placed on psychological evals and mental makeup for draft prospects at the Sloan Conference. Peters was a 3 year starter at Kentucky recording in that time 10.5 sacks and 25 tackles for a loss.
At 6'3" 301lbs with good athleticism (4.9 40 and 4.49 short shuttle at his pro day) and his strengths being a quick burst off the snap and good mobility for pursuit Peters seems to fit the mold the Colts would like in a 3-tech. Where Peters really stood out in the wake of Polian stressing mental makeup in prospects was a significant list of academic accolades, earning a degree in 3.5 years in a major that isn't a euphemism for eligibility (secondary social studies education) and earning the team awards for most improved defender (as a Soph), outstanding defender and the Jerry Claiborne Award, for academic success and a team attitude (as a Senior).
On the con side he's still a bit of a project, not a stout "hold your ground" run stuffer, DraftScout is a bit disappointed by some inconsistency in his production and NFL.com's report questions his effort and conditioning.
(on his play)
Relies on his initial burst off the snap and good closing speed to pressure the pocket. Too often resorts to a simple bull rush when his initial quickness is contained. Shows minimal pass-rush technique but he continues fighting inside. Has enough size and athleticism to warrant development in this area, but is raw.....Good initial burst to create a disruption inside. Locates the ball and works to get to it. Comes off the snap too high, negating his own strength. Moves well laterally and keeps his feet when moving backward. Strong and active enough to slide off blocks and meet the ballcarrier in the hole. Good pursuit laterally and downfield for a player of his size....Flashes an explosive burst off the snap with an initial surge to knock the guard backward to disrupt the play before it even has a chance to begin. Needs to show greater strength and use of leverage when fighting blocks.....Stands too upright out of his stance, negating his own strength and too often being knocked back in short-yardage situations. Can slide off the block to make the tackle at or near the line of scrimmage....Shows some agility and good balance when on the move and can trip up smaller, more elusive ball-carriers due to his long arms.
(on his personality)
Intangibles: Took his academics seriously. Earned recognition as a National Scholar-Athlete in high school and made the SEC Academic Honor-Roll after the 2007 and 2008 seasons. Earned his secondary social-studies degree in December of 2009. Steadily improved on the field throughout his career. Earned Most-Improved Defender award, as voted by the UK coaching staff, after the 2007 season. Voted UK's Most Outstanding Defensive Player after the 2009 regular seasons. Also recognized with the Jerry Claiborne Award, presented to an offensive and defensive senior based on academic success and a team attitude.
Peters is tall with a wide frame. Uses long arms to get inside blockers and gain leverage. Possesses a quick first step and has a repertoire of counter moves to get after the quarterback. Plays with good pad level and anticipates the play.
Carries around too much bad weight, and there are concerns about his conditioning. Lacks the power to collapse the pocket on a bull rush and struggles to disengage from bigger blockers. Does not give a consistent effort and takes too many plays off. Limited agility prevents him from making tackles in space.
Peters is a late round prospect who seems to fit perfectly with the ability and willingness to learn that was emphasized on the Sloan panel, and his physical tools seem to be in-line with a Colts 3-tech. However effort questions are always a serious red flag that can undo all the intelligence in the world. What good is knowing exactly what the scheme calls for if you are too lazy and/or worn down to consistently do it?
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