Rivera kicking tires on Patrick Peterson

March, 14, 2011
3/14/11
5:01
PM ET
As always, I’ll lead this LSU workout item with the cautionary tale. Don’t read too much into who shows up at what workouts and what teams interview privately with prospects.

Most teams do their homework very thoroughly and show up at workouts of guys they never draft and interview players they don’t end up picking.

However, when you’re talking about the No. 1 overall pick, I think you can at least gather a little about what the team holding it is thinking by its actions. This year, it’s the Carolina Panthers and coach Ron Rivera showed up at LSU’s pro day, largely to see cornerback Patrick Peterson. Actually, Peterson didn’t do any of the timing drills, but he did some position work in front of Rivera, other coaches and scouts. Peterson was happy with his times at the combine.

Perhaps more importantly, Rivera and Peterson had dinner together Sunday night. That’s a pretty strong indication that Peterson’s on that list of about eight guys the Panthers are considering.

Still, the age-old rule in the NFL is that you don’t take a cornerback No. 1 overall. It hasn’t been done in the modern era, and the earliest cornerback ever drafted was Shawn Springs by Seattle in 1997 at No. 3.

In case you missed it, I explored why the unwritten rule is not to take a cornerback at the top of the draft in this piece from a few days ago. I also had some former NFL personnel guys emphatically saying that Peterson is the best overall prospect in the draft. But even those two guys couldn’t agree if Carolina should take Peterson.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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