Miller, Peterson big winners at NFL Combine

Patrick Peterson (AP Photo)

Two of the Cardinals' prime targets, Von Miller and Patrick Peterson, were big winners at the combine and their stock continues to soar.

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Two players that will draw a great deal of interest from the Arizona Cardinals in this year's draft excelled at the NFL Scouting Combine. The Cardinals, owners of the fifth overall pick, will have their eyes on both Von Miller and Patrick Peterson come this April and are now left hoping at least one will still be available.

Arizona's struggles were spread across the board in 2010 but improving an ineffective pass rush and deficiencies in the secondary are two areas that need to be addressed. Obtaining the services of Miller or Peterson with the team's first-round pick would immediately boost either area.

Von Miller
(AP Photo)

Tale of the Tape

Miller (6-foot-3, 246 pounds)
Arm Length: 33.5 inches
Hand Size: 9 1/4 inches
40-yard Dash: 4.53 seconds
Vertical Jump: 37 inches
Broad Jump: 10-foot-6

Miller has graded out as a first-round pick for some time now, but his ascent up draft boards doesn't appear to be stopping. Miller is known as a high character player whose physical abilities are becoming more apparent as the draft process continues. Miller started building momentum at the Senior Bowl and continued that trend with another outstanding performance at the NFL Combine.

Given the Cardinals preference to run the 3-4 defense, the addition of Miller would make perfect sense. Miller has the explosiveness to thrive as an edge pass rusher but also is strong enough at the point of attack to shed opposing blockers and contribute in run defense.

Miller would be very difficult to pass up, but with his stock skyrocketing, there's a chance he'll be off the board by the time Arizona goes on the clock in Round 1.

Peterson, meanwhile, is another player who's lived up to the hype throughout the draft process. Peterson, like Miller, features an all-around skill set, allowing him to contribute both in coverage and against the run. In fact, Peterson's cover skills are so polished that he's being advertised as the NFL's next potential shutdown cornerback.

The owner of the rare combination of size, speed and strength, Peterson's performance in Indianapolis almost solidifies his status as a top five pick. The NFL is moving towards a throw first league and cornerbacks' value will grow even greater in the coming years. Unlike most other prospects, Peterson's film, measurables and workouts all pass with flying colors. He appears to have few weaknesses which should translate to Peterson being an immediate contributor at the next level.

Tale of the Tape

Peterson (6-foot, 219 pounds)
Arm Length: 32 inches
Hand Size: 9 1/4 inches
40-yard Dash: 4.34 seconds
Vertical Jump: 38 inches
Broad Jump: 10-foot-6

Although Greg Toler is growing into a legitimate starter opposite of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Peterson would likely be an upgrade. Given Peterson's ability and potential, he'll probably develop into a superior player than Rodgers-Cromartie within a year or two. Most mock drafts have Peterson gone early but there's a chance he could still be available at pick No. 5.

Both Miller and Peterson will be in high demand and if the Cardinals manage to land either of the top prospects, it should be considered a successful start to a critical 2011 draft.

Questions or comments? Contact Brad Wilbricht at

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