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2011 NFL Draft: 49ers And Patrick Peterson's Private Workout

Fooch's Update: One clarification on the Peterson workout. It took place in Florida, which is the reason Florida Atlantic QB Jeff Van Camp and WR Lester Jean were allowed to take part. A good chunk of the workout involved drills with Peterson covering Jean on pass plays.

The folks at are reporting Patrick Peterson conducted a private workout with the San Francisco 49ers yesterday (tip of the cap to mikeinsp as well - also, Matt Barrows has a rundown of the draft-eligible players that have visited Santa Clara). This isn't exactly a shocking bit of news, although I suppose I'm a little surprised it's only just now happening.

The general consensus here at NN is that Peterson is the top cornerback and really the top overall player for the 49ers. Given what the team has seen of Peterson in his time at LSU and in the draft season, I would guess this was as much a chance to chat with him in Santa Clara. The physical drills were likely of some value, but getting a chance to talk with a guy you covet is as important as anything else given his standing in draft rankings.

One of the "knocks" on Peterson has been that his size has him in line to eventually be a safety. That raises two questions: 1) Is that enough to drop him the necessary few spots into the 49ers lap at seven?, and 2) Do the 49ers actually pass on Peterson (likely by trading down) if he is there because of this so-called size concern?

Personally I think if Peterson is there at seven you just about have to draft him. Barring a Godfather offer for the seventh pick, Peterson is the guy you take, no questions asked. The 49ers grabbed a defensive back in Ronnie Lott with the eighth pick of the 1981 NFL Draft and that certainly worked out well. That's not to say that Peterson will follow the career trajectory of Lott. Rather, it's a matter of grabbing the guy you want, even if there are some slight hiccups to consider.