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Thursday, 28 April 2011 11:01
Could LSU's Patrick Peterson Be 1st NFL Draft Pick?
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Ed Staton LSU All-America cornerback Patrick Peterson, Peterson was on Wall Street on Wednesday, ringing the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange with a bunch of other top prospects.

Peterson arrived in New York on Monday to begin several days of pre-draft activities, including a dinner he hosted Wednesday night for New York-area LSU supporters and alumni.

Some NFL draft analysts have Peterson at the top of the draft order. NFLDraft lists Peterson as the No. 1 over-all prospect, and former Ravens coach Brian Billick puts Peterson No. 1 in his mock draft.

If Peterson is drafted on Thursday night, he will be the 33rd first-round pick in LSU history and the eighth for Les Miles. The Tigers have had at least one first-round pick six of the past seven years.

Two Tigers have been taken as the No. 1 over-all picks: Billy Cannon in 1960 by the Rams (he signed with the Oilers of the AFL), and JaMarcus Russell in 2007 by the Raiders.


Other Tigers who are expecting to hear their name called this weekend include: defensive tackle Drake Nevis, linebacker Kelvin Sheppard, running back Stevan Ridley, wide receiver Terrence Toliver, offensive tackle Joseph Barksdale, defensive lineman Lazarius Levingston, and kicker Josh Jasper.


While LSU;s Patrick Peterson will be a high first-round draft choice and there could be a significant span between Peterson and the next pick from LSU. Either defensive tackle Drake Nevis or linebacker Kelvin Sheppard will be next, but likely not until the third round. Drake is short (6-feet-1) and doesn't have long arms. He his first move in college, but it won't be like that in the NFL. Sheppard has a good chance for the third round because he can play inside or outside, but he may end up in the fourth fifth round ...

The Saints have shown interest in both Nevis and Sheppard. "Nevis is a schematic fit for the Saints' 4-3 defensive line," said NFL draft scout Chris Landry. "And Sheppard is an ideal fit." Sheppard improved his stock significantly at the Senior Bowl. "The Saints put Sheppard at the edge pass rusher where he didn't play at LSU and did very well. "He's versatile, and he has the intangibles," said NFL draft expert Mike Detillier. "The Saints just bird-dogged him at LSU's Pro Day. They like versatile linebackers."  Tailback Stevan Ridley, who left LSU a year eraly, has a chance at the third or fourth round, but he could fall to the fifth. "He's a power back who got most of 1,000 yards last season on a team without a passing attack," said Detillier. "He's a pounder and a finisher."...Asking price for a Patriots Super Bowl ring on eBay is $63,000...

SOME hither, other yon: Florida State legendary coach Bobby Bowden almost replaced Charlie McClendon as coach at LSU. Then athletic director Paul Dietzel offered the job to Bowden.  In his book "Called to Coach,"  Bowden had a good team at Florida State in1979, but he was thinking that may have been wrong about FSU winning a national championship. Before his game with LSU in Tiger Stadium, "Ann (wife) and I decided that if Florida State beat LSU on the road, we'd stay in Tallahassee" said the coach.  "But if FSU lost to the Tigers, I would take the job at LSU.
"Wouldn't you know it? We went to Baton Rouge and beat the Tigers 24-19. I called Paul Dietzel a few days later and told him I was staying at Florida State." Dietzel ended up hiring North Carolina State coach Bo Rein. On Jan. 10, 1980, shortly after Rein took the  LSUjob, he was flying back from a recruiting trip to Shreveport on a private plane. For whatever reason, air traffic control lost contact with the plane. U.S. National Guard jets found it over North Carolina and tracked it until it crashed into the Atlantic Ocean. The bodies of Rein and his pilot were never found."...

 by Ed Staton


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Ed Staton

Ed Staton is a former sports writer for the Times Picayune and New Orleans States Item.  He also served as the New Orleans Saints Information Director.  He has won 43 media awards in writing, design and photography.  


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