Like Russell Wilson before him, Dak Prescott‘s standout rookie season at the controls of a run-based offense has teams hoping to duplicate the middle-round gold the Cowboys struck. As for the identity of said quarterback, Nathan Peterman has emerged in this discussion realm. The Pittsburgh product profiles as “this draft’s best chance at a Dak Prescott,” a scout told Matt Miller of Bleacher Report. A two-year starter at Pitt, Peterman threw 47 touchdown passes compared to 15 interceptions during the 2015 and ’16 seasons and rates as the No. 5 quarterback in the class, according to ESPN.com’s Todd McShay (Insider link). The 6-foot-2 passer who began his career at Tennessee didn’t receive much buzz last season, but Miller notes his accuracy and poise give the prospective Day 2 pick a chance to be a rookie starter for a team.
Here’s more from the upcoming draft, courtesy of Miller.
- A team wanting to employ the top traditional linebacker in this year’s draft may have to use a top-three pick. Although Reuben Foster underwent rotator cuff surgery and won’t work out at the Combine, one team has the former Alabama ‘backer ranked as the No. 3 player in this class, per Miller. While noting his stock could be affected by medical background checks at the Combine, Miller now has Foster going No. 2 overall to the 49ers in his latest mock draft. That’s seven spots ahead of where ESPN.com’s Mel Kiper Jr. (Insider link) projects Foster to land.
- Ryan Ramczyk won’t work out at the Combine, joining the likes of Foster, Jarrad Davis, Corey Davis, Malik Hooker and Kendell Beckwith in that regard. A hip labrum issue will halt teams from getting an early look at how the Wisconsin tackle tests.
- Ramczyk is jockeying for position with Cam Robinson and Garrett Bolles as the class’ top tackle. Similar uncertainty exists at cornerback, with scouts placing different cover men atop their draft boards at this position. While Miller rates Florida’s Quincy Wilson as his No. 1 corner, an AFC personnel man ranks Ohio State’s Gareon Conley as his. An NFC scout places Alabama’s Marlon Humphrey atop his 2017 corner hierarchy. Speaking of Conley, his being overshadowed in Columbus by the likes of Eli Apple and Marshon Lattimore the past two years may not affect his draft status. A source informed Miller he has the ex-Buckeyes corner rated higher than both Lattimore or the Giants’ Apple by comparison. Further complicating the corner class, Kiper and McShay rank Lattimore as their preferred player here.
- An area scout for a team told Miller Dalvin Cook‘s history in terms of character issues and fumbling scares his particular franchise. Suspended indefinitely from Florida State for a time before being reinstated and enjoying a standout career, Cook was charged with misdemeanor battery in 2015 and cited for mistreatment of pitbull puppies in 2014. Cook, though, scored 20 touchdowns in both 2015 and ’16 and is viewed as the second-best running back prospect in the draft.