Eric Davis played cornerback in the NFL for 13 seasons, most notably for the San Francisco 49ers. So, his opinion does have some merit when it comes to ranking collegiate CB prospects as they prepare to head into the NFL.
And while the consensus is that LSU CB Patrick Peterson is the only “can’t miss” prospect in the entire draft, Davis would tend to disagree. He told Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com recently that he thinks Nebraska’s Prince Amukamara will be the better corner at the pro level.
“Both are can’t-miss guys,” he said. “When you talk about athletic ability, Peterson is the better athlete. He’s not a lot better, but he’s the better athlete.”
SIDE NOTE: Stop with the “can’t miss” crap, please. It’s not just Davis, it’s tons of draft analysts. For every “can’t miss” prospect that turned out to be a stud, I’ll show you five “can’t miss” guys who turned out to be royal Turd Fergusons.
“Now, if you’re talking about playing the cornerback position in the NFL, Amukamara has a higher ceiling,” Davis continued. “He works better in space. His body movement allows him to work better in space and play multiple defenses.
“Peterson is eventually going to be a safety. He lost weight this year to play at 210. He came into camp smaller. But when you look at two or three years into the league, he’ll be a 225-pound guy, easily. He’ll be a safety more in the mold of Ed Reed instead of a corner. I don’t look at him as (Darelle) Revis or Nnamdi (Asomugha). He’s a lot bigger than those guys.”
Davis makes a great point. Peterson is pretty damn big.
“There’s a word to describe a 220-pound cornerback: safety,” Davis said. “That’s a safety. There’s no way at that size he can remain at corner with the way the rules are in the NFL. You can’t be Lester Hayes and maul guys. You have to work in space and get on DeSean Jackson and change direction, put a foot in the ground, read and react. It boils down to simple physics of a body in motion. The longer stride, the heavier the body, the more difficult it is to change direction.
“If you look at the defense they ran at LSU, there was a lot of press coverage. They can play press and be physical and maul guys because the rules allow you do that in college. Now, when you make that jump to the NFL, you have to work in space.
“Prince has the more fluid change of direction. He can start and stop. He can start, put his foot in ground and redirect and cover.”
Time will only tell if Davis is right. But for now, he’s really the only person we’ve heard that is touting Prince over Peterson.