Second chances are rare and should never be taken for granted. Marcus Peters, newly acquired 2015 draft pick for the Kansas City Chiefs, has just that. At six-foot and almost 200 pounds, Peters is a physical corner. Peters attended the University of Washington for three seasons, one of which was cut short due to a suspension. Peters has talent, there is no doubt about that. He had 11 interceptions and almost 100 tackles in his time with the Huskies. But skill isn’t all of what makes a great player; emotions and actions are almost just as important, if not more.
While at Washington, Peters put his talent on display. Selected to the second-team All-PAC-12 team, he showed his incredible ball skills and ability to cover even the best wide outs. However, Peters was suspended for one game early in the 2014 season after throwing a sideline temper tantrum after what he called a “stupid” personal foul call against Eastern Washington.
Following the one game suspension, things went downhill for Peters to end his junior year at Washington. After showing up late to a few meetings and several times arguing with assistant coaches, Peters was dismissed from the team for the remainder of the season. With that came the decision of whether to play another year in college, or to turn pro and enter the NFL Draft. Peters decided to declare for the 2015 NFL Draft and was drafted in the first round at pick number 18. Peters has received a second chance at being able to turn his perceived image around, prove he can be more than just a bad attitude and that he can be a viable NFL corner.
In a draft where there wasn’t a lot of depth at the cornerback position available, Peters stood out. There was just a stigma hanging over him that was his emotion and attitude. One of the hardest things to do in life is forget the past and move on, but that’s what he has to do. He has to think of this as a fresh start and prove that he can be a great player as well as a great teammate. After an unimpressive scouting combine performance that saw a 40-yard dash time of 4.53, Peters has to prove himself. He has the talent to match up with the NFL’s elite, but he needs to be dedicated.
One thing to note, the Kansas City Chiefs certainly have the players and the experience in the locker room to keep Peters in check. Players like Tamba Hali and Sean Smith, two of the Chiefs defensive leaders, can guide him in the right direction. Peters could be a big asset playing across the field from Smith, and could really give the defense a boost. Kansas City had a top ten defense last season, and they look to improve this year. The Chiefs ranked second in the NFL in pass yards allowed per game at a little over 200 in 2014. Peters joins a stellar cast of experienced players that can only help him in his path to becoming a consistent NFL player.
If the past is any indication, attitude problems can hinder even the best players. It can be a big distraction and cause problems on and off the field, but for Peters, it’s going to be how he handles the pressure. The public image of how he conducts himself is already negative, but it’s his job to change that. If he can just turn around his attitude, combined with his talent, he can be a huge lift to what is an already good Chiefs defense. In a few recent interviews, Peters has shown that he is ready to turn things around. The biggest question is if he can join the ranks of those who, even with a cloudy past, can have a bright future.