Scouting Report: Marcus Peters, CB, Washington

The case of Marcus Peters is an interesting one, the top rated CB on many analysts draft boards throughout the season and then he was kicked off the team after multiple run-ins with his coaching staff. Although a very talented player, being dismissed from the team in your Junior season is not a very good sign and is worthy of a red flag. Although here at NFL Breakdowns, we are here to objectively evaluate Peters as a prospect for one of 32 NFL teams; we’ll leave the character questioning to the NFL teams. Let’s take a look at Marcus Peters.


DOB 9-Jan-93 Bench (225 lb) 17 reps
Height 6’0″ Vertical Jump 37 1/2″
Weight 197 lbs Broad Jump 10’1″
Arms 31 1/2″ 20 Yard Shuttle 4.08
Hands 8 3/8″ 3 Cone Drill 7.08 sec.
40 Yard Dash (10 Yard Split) 4.53 sec. (1.61 sec.) 60 Yard Shuttle 11.26 sec.

Scouting Report

  • At 6’0″ 197 lbs, Peters possess ideal size for a CB in today’s game
  • Being a “bigger” CB, Peters has incredible strength on the outside with WR’s at the line.
  • In press-man coverage, you will rarely see a WR get off the line free or easily
  • Peter is good at disrupting the route or taking the WR out of the play completely with his initial jam.
  • He is a very instinctual CB, relying a lot of what he sees and then trying to make a play.
  • In off-coverage, or zone coverage, he seems to struggle. He tends to get lost in space a lot of the time, stuck between which route he should be covering.
  • When playing off-man he seems to have a little bit slower reaction time on his break, making him out of position on a few plays.
  • He is a poor tackler, technique wise that is. If he can square you up he will make the play, but if the ball carrier is out in space odds are he’ll miss the tackle.
  • On back breaking routes (comeback, hitch) he excels at planting and driving on the ball.
  • On bubble screens he is very aggressive and doesn’t shy away from contact, but tends to forget his technique and tries to win the battle by being more athletic than the blocker.
  • When playing in a trail technique he is at his best, with his height (6’0″) he is big enough to make a play on the ball if the QB tries to go over the top.
  • Also in trail technique he’s good at settling his hips and mirroring the WR.
  • Ideal fit would be for a team that runs a lot of man-to-man coverage, where he must take away the WR on his own. A team with a largely zone defensive scheme might find Peters lost in his assignments.

Film Study

Let’s take a look at the scouting report with some examples from Peters game tape (without access to the All-22, it is sometimes hard to see where he goes on the play). I have broken down two different games from Peters this season. I believe a players most recent season is the best way to evaluate their talents.

  • Game 1: At #9 Oregon. October 18, 2014.
    • Oregon possess one of the most lethal attacks in all of college football, led by NFL draft prospect Marcus Mariota. Many of Oregon’s players will go on to play in the NFL and many of their schemes are also used in the NFL. This is a good game to evaluate how Peters will play on the next level.
  • Game 2: Vs. Eastern Washington. September 6, 2014.
    • Yes Eastern Washington is a 1-AA school, but they are one of the most efficient and best offenses in all of football (regardless of division). And with their QB, Vernon Adams, just transferred to Oregon so he possess Division 1 talent.

Man-to-man coverage

Where Peters really dominates the game is when he’s in press man coverage. He has the ability to take WR’s out of the play and out of the game by jamming them off the line and not letting them to get into their routes.

The WR tries to beat Peters off the line by outside releasing, Peters shuts that down immediately. Peters strength is his ability to stay square even when the WR’s are trying to run away from him. Peters doesn’t even allow the WR to run any sort of route. This takes away an option for the QB, who is ultimately sacked.

Peters size makes him very difficult to throw against, and I’m not just talking about his jamming at the line. A lot of CB’s play a trail technique in order to stop comeback routes or back shoulder fades. The WR releases outside and Peters gets on his inside hip. Where Peters size comes into play is when the QB must get the ball over top of him. At 6’0″ with good ball skills, the QB has a very tough time putting the ball in a tight window away from Peters with it still being completed.

On this play, Peters actually doesn’t get a jam on the WR and allows him to get into his route. What Peters shows on this play is great hips. The WR runs a comeback route and as he settles his hips, so does Peters, mirroring the WR completely. Having the ability to settle your hips is essential to be a good CB in the NFL and Peters has that.

We aren’t able to see much on this play, but what we do see is Peters staying square and moving down the line in order to get a jam on the WR. Peters jams the WR out of bounds taking him out of the play.

Peters flips his hips towards the sideline on this play, allowing the WR to have a free release to the inside. The WR gains some separation on this play, but immediately he closes it. At the end of the play we see him in the hip pocket of the WR on his post route (Peters is not the one who breaks up the pass).

Zone coverage

Washington is in a Cover 3 once again on this play. Peters has the deep 1/3 once again. This time the only route in his zone is the hitch route from the outside WR. Although Peters doesn’t break up the pass, he shows an impressive break on the ball, and a good plant and drive to make up about 5 yards while the ball is in the air.

The Huskies are in a Cover 2 for this play. During this play, we see how Peters has a sort of lazy streak in him. There’s a term in football called “finding work” which means that when nothing comes into your zone that you should go find other things to help with and not become invisible. Oregon runs a slant-hitch combination on this play. And while the hitch is still in Peters zone, the underneath LB is able to cover that route up. Peters should close down on this slant route in order to make it a tougher throw, not follow the WR completely, but close down. Being lazy like this in the NFL will not work for Peters.

We see that Washington is once again in what looks to be a Cover 2. The WR’s in Peters zone both run “Dig” routes (running away from Peters). Peters does a nice job of squeezing down the deep dig, but he should work to close down the space between himself and the WR and he might have intercepted the pass instead of being a step late for the big play.

Again in Cover 2, Peters shows us here what he didn’t show us two plays ago. With the slant route being run away from his zone, Peters “finds work” on this play and closes down on the slant. By closing down he affects the throw, although a bad one, and makes sure that it falls incomplete.

This is one of the more impressive plays that I saw from Peters. EWU runs a “smash” concept, the slot WR runs a post-corner while the outside WR runs a hitch. This play is a Cover 2 beater, designed to get the CB to bite on the hitch and freeing up the post-corner. Peters does not let that happen. He drops into his zone and splits the difference between the two routes allowing time for his flat defender to get there and cover up the hitch route. The QB is forced to scramble where his gain is held to a minimum.

Article continues on the next page.

Derek Willems

Derek was born, bred and fed in the Dawg Pound as a Cleveland Browns fan. Currently he is a student assistant with the Kent State Football program, his primary focus being Defensive Backs. He eventually hopes to coach high level football but for now in his spare time he enjoys breaking down film and writing to inform the readers of things he is seeing. For all of Derek's articles: <strong><a href="">Click Here</a>.</strong>