Patrick Peterson Wants QBs to Throw at Him More

Photo: Stephen Maturen – Getty Images

When Patrick Peterson decided to come back and re-join the Minnesota Vikings, he did it because he enjoyed being here last season, the facilities and the rapport he’s built with teammates. As far as the new coaching staff and front office, Pat P. isn’t worried about that. He knows new defensive coordinator, Ed Donatell, personally and told media on Monday that he’s ran into just about every new defensive coach in the building at one point of his career or another.

But when asked about what he’s hoping to see change, for the upcoming 2022 season, Peterson was quite clear. He wants more targets sent his way. He’s sick of quarterbacks avoiding him.

QB’s Hate Throwing at P2

When looking back at his career, you can see why Patrick Peterson gets frustrated with the lack of targets receivers get when lined up across from him on Sundays. According to PFF, it’s been since 2014 that P2 has been targeted more than 75 times in a season. Back then, offenses realized that bad things happen when you throw in Peterson’s vicinity… so they stopped doing it.

Some years, his coverage grades warrant being avoided. In 2018, 2016 and 2015, Patrick Peterson finished with PFF coverage grades over 80.0. But other years, like 2021 (61.0), 2020 (53.1), 2019 (64.3) and 2017 (68.4), he finished with grades under 70.0. Even when he isn’t playing his best, though, opposing quarterbacks avoid him like the plague. In 2021, 59 cornerbacks were thrown at more often than Peterson. In 2020, 33 CBs saw more targets and in 2019, 71 CB’s saw more. You get the point.

No matter how well he is playing, Patrick Peterson isn’t being thrown at as much as his peers. And it’s not because he isn’t on the field or defending good wide receivers. P2 has played over 900 defensive snaps every season of his career, other than 2021, when he played 884 and 2019, when he dealt with injuries and was on the field for 696 snaps (PFF). it’s Peterson’s reputation is what steers offenses away from him.

Secondary Sidekick Needed

Now we know why Patrick Peterson has been stumping for the Minnesota Vikings to draft another cornerback in the first round of the upcoming NFL draft. The only way for him to see more balls come his direction is if quarterbacks and opposing offenses fear other CBs in the Vikings secondary.

In 2021, Bashaud Breeland (85 targets) and Mackensie Alexander (79 targets) both allowed opposing QB’s to complete over 69% of throws against them and allowed QB ratings of over 112.0. Breeland and Alexander were both finished with PFF grades under 46.0. Gross.

There are a few cornerbacks who are mocked to go in the top-15 picks later this month — Stingley Jr (LSU), Sauce Gardner (Cinci), Trent McDuffie (Wash) — and the Vikings, who have pick 12, will certainly be looking for secondary help early and often.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan