The Arizona Cardinals could have drafted any number of players last year with the fifth overall pick in the draft. They ultimately went with L.S.U. defensive back Patrick Peterson. Although his coverage skills require some minor refinements, he became recognized nationally for his ability as a punt returner.
His four return touchdowns not only tied league records, but set new ones for a rookie as well. On 44 attempts, Peterson was able to gain a total of 699 yards, a rookie record. Tack that onto the four touchdowns of 80 yards or more and you can see why the Cardinals drafted him. Every time he touched the ball he had the ability to change the game.
Compile the stats above along with the fact that Peterson is in his rookie season and it is clear to see why he is headed to Hawaii to play for the NFC in the Pro Bowl. Peterson may have received the nomination to play in the Pro Bowl, but he recognizes he couldn’t do it alone. As seen in his comment below.
“It’s quite an honor, not just for me but for the other 10 guys on the return unit and our (special teams) coach Kevin Spencer. The guy with the ball in his hands gets all the credit but I want those guys to know I appreciate them and what they do.”
On Friday, Peterson received even more accolades for his play this season. He was named as the return man for the Associated Press’s All Pro Team. He joins fellow teammate Larry Fitzgerald as the only members of the Cardinals to named to the team. He has accomplished much in his first year in the NFL. As his defense continues to improve look for him to anchor the Cardinals backfield for many years to come.