Thursday, March 29, 2007

Draft Focus/Adrian Peterson

Adrian Peterson
RB, Oklahoma
6-2, 218

Adrian Peterson had an amazing career at Oklahoma. In his three seasons he ran for 4050 yards with a 5.4 average per carry. In his 31 games (22 starts) he racked up 41 TD's. Fans and the media alike have waited since his Freshman season for this draft to come. His freshman year he was a consensus All-American when he gained 1925 yards rushing. He was on the Heisman watch list for much of the season (at times on top of the list) and got the invite to New York. He came in second in the voting to Matt Leinhart. In 2005 he missed time due to a high ankle sprain but still gained 1108 on the round and another 14 TD's. He was the first runner in Oklahoma history to gain 3000 yards in two seasons. In 2006 a broken collar bone caused him to miss the last seven games of the regular season but he managed to rush for 1012 yards. He finished his college career with 20 carries for 77 yards and 2 TD's in the thrilling Fiesta Bowl loss to Boise State.

On the upside Peterson shows great balance and an amazing ability to find holes and get through them. He is built solid all the way around and can go around or through defenders, choose your poison. Peterson showed his commitment when he had an impressive combine workout despite learning of his half-brothers murder hours before.

There are obvious injury concerns. Peterson must learn to protect his body with his injury history. He must learn to protect the ball as well (17 fumbles).

Adrian has been compared to Eddie George and Deuce McCallister. He is a punishing back that has speed to get away as well.

With a great Combine workout behind him, Peterson continued to shine at the Oklahoma Pro Day.

"Adrian is a terrific talent,' Cleveland Browns general manager Phil Savage told Sooner Sports.
'He caught the ball well... and showed some versatility. At the
combine, he double-caught some balls. It put some people's mind at ease
that he caught it better [during his Pro Day]."

When asked about
his draft status, Peterson said: "Right now, there are a lot of things
going on with trades and players jumping teams. Right now, I'm just
trying to make everything less stressful on me and just relax."

Who wants him? Peterson is likely going to be a victim of needs by the teams picking. He has been projected to fall anywhere from #3 to the Browns all the way to #12 with the Bills. The Texans and Falcons are mentioned around the league as well as teams that may bite.

Fantasy Outlook: Depending on here he falls in the NFL Draft, Peterson will likely be the #1 rookie in most fantasy drafts. The only rookies that threaten his fantasy stock are Calvin Johnson and Marshawn Lynch. If he is named the starter where he lands he should easily be the first rookie selected.

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