GM: Patrick Peterson ‘closest’ to Bo, Deion

Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim believes Patrick Peterson is one of the most dynamic athletes the NFL has ever seen.

Just how much praise does Keim have for his third-year cornerback?

“From an ability standpoint, I’ve never seen anything like him. He’s the closest thing in the league to a Bo Jackson, a Deion Sanders,” Keim said in an interview with “I’ve seen him stand on the field flat-footed and throw the ball 65-70 yards. He goes out to practice as a wideout, and runs a 10- and 15-yard out as well as anyone on our team. His value to our team is really unparalleled.”

Along with being stars in the NFL, Jackson and Sanders also played in Major League Baseball at the same time.

Jackson was an explosive running back with the Los Angeles Raiders who lasted just four seasons due to a hip injury.  Sanders, like Peterson, played multiple positions during his Hall of Fame career: cornerback, kick returner and wide receiver.

In his first two NFL seasons, Peterson made the Pro Bowl as a punt returner, then as a cornerback.  Now new coach Bruce Arians is ready to deploy Peterson like Sanders was used with the Atlanta Falcons and Dallas Cowboys. Arians recently said he’s installed about 15 plays with Peterson on offense, although there wouldn’t be that many in any single game plan.

That idea has only grown as Arians watched Peterson up close.

“I had hopes that he could be something special in a package a week,” Arians said. “But after you see the athlete he is, he probably could be one of the top five receivers in the league. So you say, ‘Hmm, that’s a lot of weapon sitting over here next to me.’

“But there’s no doubt we’re going to utilize his skill set on offense.”

Peterson had a few snaps last season in the Wildcat formation under then-coach Ken Whisenhunt.  However, Arians doesn’t use the Wildcat. Instead, he has used Peterson either at wide receiver or in the backfield during training camp.

As for playing offense, Peterson is supremely confident.

“I’m definitely an athlete that can pretty much play every skill position on the field,” he said.

Veteran quarterback Carson Palmer agrees.

“There’s not much he can’t do,” Palmer said.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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About Neil Farris

I have been covering sports since 2002 when I began writing for my college newspaper. Since then I have covered football regionally and currently work in the NFL department at All Sports Talk.