I use the word “record” to describe the particular claim-to-fame that Charles Woodson might be on the verge of losing, because there’s really no other way to describe it.
Woodson was the highest cornerback ever taken in the NFL draft when the Oakland Raiders selected him fourth overall in 1998. Since then, only nine corners have been taken in the top 10 (and only one — Joe Haden — in the last five years).
Woodson has become a borderline Hall of Fame defensive back and one of the most versatile defenders in the league. He was the NFL’s defensive player of the year in 2009 and will try capture his first Super Bowl ring next week with the Packers.
But there’s a chance that, for first time in history, a corner could break into the top three in the draft. In fact, there’s even chatter that LSU’s Patrick Peterson could be the first overall pick.
That’s a wild thought floated out there earlier today by ESPN’s Pat Yasinskas. See, Peterson is getting a lot of love as mock drafters begin drafting their drafts. Draft. The Panthers, who hold the top pick, have more holes than that car Bonnie and Clyde were shot up in, but corner is one of them, and the team has apparently shown interest in Peterson:
Could Peterson be the No. 1 choice in the draft? It’s at least possible.
Peterson is a very good cornerback and a lot of draft experts currently have him rated among the top 10 overall players, with some ranking him in the top five. It’s pretty much universally accepted that Peterson will be the top cornerback taken. But teams often frown on using the No. 1 overall pick on a cornerback.
Keep in mind: Carolina did use a relatively high draft pick on a quarterback last year. Maybe with Andrew Luck staying in school, the Panthers are willing to give Jimmy Clausen another year to progress as the starter. Plus, there’s a decent chance they’ll be alive in the Luck sweepstakes in 2012.
Yes, they also have to address their bad defensive line. Without looking, who started at defensive tackle this season for Carolina? The answers: Derek Landri, Ed Johnson, Nick Hayden and some guy named Andre Neblett (I looked). Defensive end Charles Johnson is a solid player, but the Panthers need some serious help on that line.
That’s why Auburn’s Nick Fairley would seem to make the most sense. But if Fairley falls out of favour, Peterson might be the next guy in the queue.
A corner going first overall. That just wouldn’t feel right.