Deangelo Peterson: 5 Biggest Pros and Cons of 2012 NFL Draft Prospect

Vincent Frank@VincentFrankNFLCorrespondent IApril 25, 2012

Deangelo Peterson: 5 Biggest Pros and Cons of 2012 NFL Draft Prospect

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    Deangelo Peterson is the No. 5-ranked tight end on my board, which just goes to show you how weak and top-heavy the 2012 NFL draft is as it relates to this position.

    He is nowhere near ready to make a contribution in the National Football League, needing at least a year of seasoning in order to make any sort of impact outside of special teams.

    With that said, the talent is surely there, as is the athletic ability. Once Peterson learns the nuances of the tight end position he could be a stellar player.

Strength: Athleticism

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    Deangelo Peterson is a tight end in a wide receiver's body. He has the athleticism to be a matchup nightmare at the next level, and he's consistently able to make plays down the field.

    He was tied for the top spot among tight ends at the combine in the generic vertical jump drill, which indicates that he has the leaping ability to make a living on corner fades in the end zone.

Weakness: Size

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    Standing just 6'3", Deangelo Peterson does not possess ideal size for a tight end in the National Football League. While he might make up for this with that above average leaping ability, the LSU product may not be able to provide the quarterback with throwing lanes between the hashes.

    This will limit the targets that Peterson gets in crucial situations. It will also force offenses to play him more in the slot or on the outside against smaller defenders.

Strength: Initial Accelaration off the Line

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    Deangelo Peterson gets off the line quickly and will not struggle too much against press coverage. He has the power and girth to dominate smaller nickelbacks in the slot and will not be held back on the outside.

    This aspect of Peterson's game might be hampered a bit going up against linebackers or safeties, but the right offensive scheme can work around that.

Weakness: Incredibly Raw

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    Deangelo Peterson is still extremely raw in many aspects of his game. The young tight end doesn't run fluid or tight routs, and he will hug the proverbial line before fading off midway through. This causes him to be out of sync with the quarterback and can lead to confusion.

    Peterson also allows the ball to eat his body up on a consistent basis. He rarely catches it with his hands before contact. This leads to many dropped passes, making him an extremely inconsistent pass catcher.

Strength: Incredibly High Ceiling

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    If Deangelo Peterson is able to sharpen his raw skills he might become a major steal in the middle rounds. He possesses the athletic ability and frame to be a damn good receiving threat in the National Football League.

    Peterson will need to focus on more seasoning in real game situations, learning from veterans on the roster and being coached up.

    If it all comes together watch out.

    If not, he will be limited in terms of productivity at the next level.