Chicago Sun-Times

NU receiver Peterman knows special teams could be his ticket

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Eric Peterman pretty much expected to run a sub-4.5 time in the 40-yard dash at Northwestern's pro day on Thursday.

Maybe it was the 17 NFL scouts in attendance that were not necessarily expecting that. The WIldcats wide receiver created quite a buzz for himself afterward with times of 4.45 seconds and 4.47 seconds to go with a nifty three cone drill time of 6.58. As one source said, he could have run himself straight into the draft.

"It's kind of what I've been doing,'' Peterman said. ``That's right at what I've been running, maybe just a little bit better.''

Peterman had seven catches for 83 yards in the Alamo Bowl loss to Missouri and eight catches for 111 yards in the regular-season finale vs. Illinois. He finished his senior season with 59 catches, 737 yards and six touchdowns.

The key for him to make an NFL roster, though, is going to be his versatility. A late-round pick at wide receiver has to be able to pitch in on special teams and that is where he feels he has an edge. He cut his teeth on special teams as a freshman at NU and was a four-phase performer. That's what NFL teams seek.

"It's kind of a mixture of both for me,'' he said. "Teams definitely want to see me play receiver but I have a knack for special teams and that's kind of where I made the most impact throughout all four years. So, it's trying to do a combination of both to get my foot in the door. Once I get comfortable on special teams then I look for more playing time at receiver.''

Peterman expects to get a few visits or private workouts scheduled. Green Bay could be one team on his list. The Packers were present Thursday.

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Chicago will probably go receiver at some point during the draft, probably a little higher than the 7th round. But you got to love the 4.5 40 Peterman ran, and his experience on special teams, he's worth a look.

The player I like from Northwestern is defensive tackle John Gill who has 42 career starts. This season Gill had 8 tackles for loss to go along with 4 sacks, in 07 he also had 4 sacks, so the guy can make plays in the backfield. You can never have enough defensive tackles that have the ability to penetrate, especially in the Bears scheme. I realize the Bears are loaded at DT, but with Gills quickness, and ability to penetrate, I think he could be worth developing for a season or two on the practice squad. Gill has nice size at 6-3 300lbs, and with the 42 starts, nice durability. With his size, durability, and ability to penetrate [especially in the Big-10 vs Big-10 linemen] he would be worth a 7th rounder GO BEARS!!


The big ten competition has waned over the years and is not even close to what it used to be. It seems to me lately that big 10 schools just are not sending the top kids to the pros that they used to on a consistent basis.

Based on the fact that the Big Ten is not so big anymore maybe there are other kids out there in more competative schools that might be more appropriate for the Bears to choose; quite simply because they have played against better competition throughout college?

Kevin, do not get me wrong I am not saying this kid is not good, he might be great but the level of competition in the big 10 that he has played against is not the caliber it used to be.

dahlillama, I realize the skilled players of the Big-10 haven't been up to par with the other conferences,[however 2 of the leagues best QB's come out of the Big-10 in Tom Brady, Michigan 2000 draft, & Drew Brees, Purdue 2001 draft], but the emphasis they put on the running game, and their offensive linemen are some of the best in the country. Want proof, just check out the last two drafts and pro bowl rosters, Joe Thomas of Wisconsin 07 draft, 07-08 pro bowler, and Michigan's Jake Long 08 draft, 08 pro bowl, see my point. Also, former Oklahoma runner Adrian Peterson is known as the leagues best back, little known fact however, he runs behind another former Big-10 player Steve Hutchinson, probably the leagues best interior lienman and a regular at the pro bowl. dahlillama, my point was the Big -10 usually have some pretty good offensive linemen, and lookig up and down the pro bowl roster you see what I mean. The fact John Gill was able to penetrate vs Big-10 linemen says something about his ability, and he could be worth a look GO BEARS!!

Kevin you were a lot more gentle about that than I could have been. You forgot about that dogged determination in the Big Ten to insist on athletes who can compete as students.

I get a kick out of it every year when the Big Ten kids go to the combine or to pro days and the world is surprised yet again that, in addition to being smart and well coached, they are good athletes.

Dahli do you think if a player doesn't look and and act like Cedric Benson they can't possibly have any game?

I respect both of your opinions, and yes I do think the big 10 has slipped but apprecitae the education side of the game as well.

I just would like the Big 10 to be more competative than they have been in the last 5-10 years.

I don't care what conference your from a 4.45 is a 4.45 whether it is somebody from USC or Northwestern and that is faassttt. Add that to the mind of an industrial engineer from NU to that 40 time and the best 3 cone drill out of any wide receiver at the draft plus a phenom on special teams... I'd draft this kid

okay i was a jr when petermen was a sr i tried to tackle that kid everyday couldnt and he hits hard too so i kno for a fact he will make the roster

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on March 12, 2009 10:24 PM.

Four Down Territory, March 12: Revisiting the Cutler situation was the previous entry in this blog.

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