In the second part of this series, we look at the underrated OSU players who agreed to terms with NFL teams after the draft. You can see the first part of the series on David Glidden here. Today, were looking at defensive back Kevin Peterson's chances of sticking with the Chicago Bears.
The Bears' rookie camp gets underway Friday, and Peterson will be one of four rookie DB's looking to make the team. Peterson, who played cornerback for the Pokes, was one of the team's anchors in the secondary during his career.
Defensive college stats online aren't always the most accurate, but here's what the site Sports Reference had for Peterson:
2015: 42 Tak / 35 Solo / 7 Ast / 1 INT / 9 Yds / 0 TD / 6 Pass Def
2014: 59 Tak / 45 Solo / 14 Ast / 2 INT / 16 Yds / 0 TD / 11 Pass Def
Total: 143 Tak / 113 Solo / 30 Ast / 5 INT / 55 Yds / 0 TD / 23 Pass Def
Peterson played through part of his senior season with an ankle injury, which explains his drop in production from his Junior season. Despite that, he was named a first-team All-Big 12 performer season and is considered by many to be one of the three best DB's to wear orange during the Mike Gundy era. There were highs and lows last year; Peterson held his own against TCU WR Josh Doctson during last season's upset victory, but gave up three touchdowns to future first-round draft pick Laquon Treadwell in the Sugar Bowl.
The Bears return most of their production at DB from last year, which could be good or bad depending on how you look at it. The team's leaders in INT's and Passes Defended return, and Chicago ranked in the top four in the number of completions and passing yards allowed. However they were 25th in passing touchdown defense and tied with Dallas for the second-lowest number of interceptions at eight.
That could explain why the Bears drafted three DB's and brought in Peterson for rookie camp. They drafted two safeties in Deon Bush (Miami (FL)) and Deandre Houston-Carson (William & Mary). They also drafted cornerback Deondre Hall out of Northern Iowa, but ESPN has him listed as a safety on the team's roster.
To me, the opportunity for Peterson is there, but there is clearly a lot of competition. He'll probably have to beat out at least a few other rookies and some of the players already on the team. However, for a guy considered on par with Justin Gilbert and Parish Cox, I believe he has the best shot of the three un-drafted Cowboys invited to rookie camps.