This post is part of a continuing series in which we break down 13 2011 NFL Draft prospects - our Baker's Dozen - that should interest the Buffalo Bills. Keep up to date on our Baker's Dozen series here.
Despite being one of the safest prospects and best values in the 2011 NFL Draft, the need argument is slowly, but surely, driving Patrick Peterson out of the conversation for the Buffalo Bills at No. 3 overall. That's happening even when people admit that Peterson is a cut above most of the prospects commonly linked to the Bills. Dan Kadar (Mocking the Draft) is among those evaluators.
"I don't assign grades, but when I put rankings together, I tend to do it in tiers before clumping everyone together," Kadar said. "I've been saying throughout the whole draft process that Peterson and A.J. Green are on a tier of their own. I don't really have a qualifier for each tier, though. From a talent and impact standpoint, I just think they're better than everyone else. (Guys like Marcell) Dareus and (Cam) Newton are the next level down."
Another common discussion point that's brought up regarding Peterson - in particular by Bills fans wary of drafting "just" a cornerback at No. 3 - is whether or not Peterson can play safety. Kadar sees a lot of potential in Peterson as a safety prospect, but cautions that he's not a do-everything guy in that role, and may not be a good fit at strong safety, where defending the run gets more emphasis than at free safety.
"That depends on how the scheme is run," Kadar said. "For instance, Troy Polamalu is a free safety, but Ed Reed is a strong safety. How different are their games? Free safeties generally cover the pass more. So if that's what the scheme calls for, that's where Peterson would fit. He'd be a coverage safety, not an in-the-box safety."