In the end, the Broncos chose Von Miller. Elway hailed the young prospect as a "once in a generation player." Marcel Dareus went 3rd to the Buffalo Bills, and Patrick Peterson was selected 5th by the Arizona Cardinals. Given what we know about Von Miller and Patrick Peterson Ian Henson and I are going to "re-draft." It is our choice--Von Miller or Patrick Peterson, who would we choose?
Ian Henson - Patrick Peterson
There are a few drafts where I really love a guy that the Broncos are in a position to draft. 2011 was one of those years, now I know that everyone would probably unanimously say J.J. Watt
should have been the pick there and they aren't wrong, but we're debating whether Patrick Peterson or Von Miller was the correct pick with the second overall pick in the 2011 draft.
I was all in on Patrick Peterson, at the time I thought that he would be a perfect compliment to Champ Bailey and an eventual replacement for him. Where I think that people forget about Peterson as a contributor is his adroit ability to field returns.
Peterson has been an All Pro in every season that he has played professionally, but in 2012 he made the list as a returner. He is currently one of four NFL players in history to have four returns for a touchdown in a season (Devin Hester, Jack Christiansen and Rick Upchurch are the other three). Now who doesn't like free points?
Von Miller, while an outstanding linebacker in his rookie season contributed predominantly as a pass rusher, Peterson's dual threat as a cover corner and a returner makes him more valuable in my opinion still to this day.
We need not get too into Miller's suspension, because I feel like that is unfair and something that the Broncos could not have known about at draft time necessarily. However, Denver did lose most of 2013 with Miller due to suspension and injury.
That does bring up my next point though, this season Peterson's contract was re-upped to make him the highest paid cornerback in the NFL. There was no hoopla made by Peterson, no holdout; he simply stated it and the Cardinals made it so. Denver has yet to reach this point with Miller as they exercised the fifth year of his rookie contract, but as of yet have not signed him to an extension.
By missing on Peterson, the Broncos have missed out on 12 interceptions, 44 pass defenses, 168 total tackles, 1,323 return yards and 4 touchdowns. Not to mention a 23-year old cornerback who will be cutting the field in half for the next seven to eight years at least.
Bronco Mike - Von Miller
Patrick Peterson is a nice player, but he isn't a once in a generation player. I would argue that the Broncos have seen four players along the same level or better on their roster in recent years--Champ Bailey, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Chris Harris Jr., and Aqib Talib. Let's compare the two players side by side each year in the league:
Patrick Peterson: 1,138 snaps, -9.5 PFF grade, 113 targets 67 receptions, 869 yards, 3 TD, 2 INT, 8 PD, 44 returns, 699 yards, 4 TD. Special Teams Pro Bowler - 1st team All-Pro Kick Returner
Von Miller: 1,016 snaps, +51.1 PFF grade, 469 pass rush snaps, 11.5 sacks, 21 hits, 36 hurries, 42 run stops, 12 receptions, 93 yards, 1 TD, 1 PD, Defensive Pro Bowler - 2nd team All-Pro OLB
Patrick Peterson: 1,071 snaps, +10.5 PFF grade, 95 targets, 49 receptions, 671 yards, 6 TD, 7 INT, 7 PD, 51 retunrs, 426 yards, Defensive Pro Bowler
Von Miller: 1,072 snaps, +88;8 PFF grade, 498 pass rush snaps, 18.5 sacks, 16 hits, 57 hurries, 58 run stops, 19 receptions, 166 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 1 PD, Defensive Pro Bowler - 1st team All-Pro OLB
Patrick Peterson: 1103 snaps, -3.6 PFF grade, 90 targets, 49 receptions, 688 yards, 7 TD, 3 INT, 6 PD, 33 returns, 198 yards - Defensive Pro Bowler - 1st team All-pro
Von Miller: 552 snaps, +42.8 PFF grade, 256 pass rush snaps, 5 sacks, 8 hits, 27 hurries, 23 run stops, 3 receptions, 25 yards
Don't ask me why Patrick Peterson was a 1st team All-pro selection in 2013. Three interceptions and 7 TD's is not exactly what I would call all-pro production. If you throw that season out and Von Miller's suspension and injury shortened 2013 campaign, you have a player in Von Miller who has produced on an elite level, and a player in Patrick Peterson who has produced on a B+ level.
Von Miller has shown the ability to take over games. Patrick Peterson has yet to show the ability of a lock-down corner.
In my opinion, Von Miller has produced like a once in a generation player while Patrick Peterson has proven to be a B+ performer. You don't use the 2nd overall pick on a B+ performer. Yesterday and today, Von Miller is the right pick for the Denver Broncos.
What do you think Mile High Report? If given a 2nd chance to draft either one of these players, who would you choose?
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