Recently I had the opportunity to talk with Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Corey Peters. He was featured in an NFL documentary film titled “Late Rounders”, that focused on some of the players in the 2010 draft who were not considered to be in the elite first or second round category. Corey and I talked about the Falcons 2012 off-season, his experience coming through the draft process, and about the movie.
MC: So Corey, let’s jump right in to this year’s off-season. From the defensive standpoint, how big of a relief was it to you and some of the other guys in the locker room when the Falcons re-signed John Abraham?
CP: For me especially, being a defensive lineman, but I think it’s huge for us. He’s extremely underrated, and I don’t think people really realize how much of an effect he has when he’s out there on the field. He makes it easier for guys like me when I’m out there. Having an older guy beside me to alert me to things and remind me of things is always helpful.
MC: Now although you play defensive tackle, and Abraham plays defensive end, has he been a big mentor for you in your first couple of years in the league?
CP: He’s always been a positive voice, and he’s the kind of guy who will let you know that you need to pick it up, and that’s always appreciated. So I think it’s huge. We actually had the same defensive line coach in our respective college years, so when I came in I had already heard stories about Abe. He’s really helped me out tremendously.
MC: So have you had a chance to meet with your new coordinator Mike Nolan, and see what he’s got planned for the Falcons defense this year?
CP: I’ve had a chance to sit down and talk with him briefly…nothing too formal…just kind of getting to know each other. We really didn’t talk much football. But from what I understand, we are going to be doing some similar type things to what we are used to, not a huge night and day difference. I’m sure there will be some different wrinkles here and there.
MC: OK, let’s talk about the draft. I think the only knock I read about you during your draft process was about your frame. I saw some of the experts saying you needed to “add bulk”, or “hit the weight room.” Do you remember what scouts were saying about you in 2010?
CP: Most of what I read on the internet and in other places basically said I wouldn’t do anything spectacularly. I wasn’t going to be the fastest guy or the strongest guy, and I guess to a certain extent some of that is true.
MC: Now, you were featured in an NFL documentary film called “Late Rounders”. In watching that, I heard a lot of scouts knocking your worth ethic and your smarts. But, you were on the academic honor roll, weren’t you?
CP: Oh yes, I was academic honor roll for three years straight at Kentucky. I was an under the radar prospect, as were all the other guys in that film. I think the draft experts do a pretty good job of evaluating the first and second round picks, but after that I think they just start talking. if I can be honest. Once they get outside the first and second round, I don’t think they really evaluate the players, and they..for the lack of a better word…just talk.
MC: So you feel they just say something to say something at times?
CP Yeah, Pretty much. Well, that’s how I feel. That’s why when you look at their mock drafts, it wont be close to the way things really come out.
MC: In the movie, they show all you guys in the hours leading up to your name being called in the draft. Now I noticed when they called your name and said the Atlanta Falcons, you had the biggest smile come over your face. What were you thinking at that moment?
CP: It was a great place for me. Coming from Kentucky, it’s pretty close. My dad and brother are in Kentucky, and my mom is in West Virginia, so my family would still be able to get down for games. Atlanta is a great place, and it’s a great city for a family. I hope to kind of make my life here and start a family here.
Corey Peters was selected by the Falcons with the 83rd overall pick out of the University of Kentucky in 2010. In two seasons with the Falcons he has 46 career tackles, along with four sacks and one interception.