Adrian Peterson landed at Norman with a great deal of expectations, and if possible, has outperformed those expectations. As a true freshman, he was 2nd in the Heisman voting, the highest finish for a freshman ever, after rushing for 1,925 yards and 15 touchdowns. The Sooners lost quite a few seniors the next season, and opponents began to focus on Peterson solely, and it took its toll on him. While battling injuries for most of the season, even though he missed only one full game, Peterson only ran for 1,108 yards and 14 TDís. Peterson was off to a great start as a junior, rushing for 935 yards and 10 touchdowns in just six games, but his season ended with a broken collarbone.
From a physical standpoint, itís hard to pick a better specimen than Adrian Peterson. Heís big and strong, but still has room for more growth. He couples that size with excellent speed, and very good athleticism. As a freshman, he proved he could carry the load, and even though he was dinged up as a sophomore, was still the focal point of the offense. Peterson will run it between the tackles, and lowers his shoulder upon contact. He will break arm tackles, and his speed allows him to bounce outside and break off long runs.
There really are only two questions with Peterson: his durability and his receiving ability. In his three seasons, he has had two seasons where he has either missed or been slowed by injuries for a substantial amount of time. With his long frame, Peterson runs upright and opens his body up for some unnecessary punishment at times. He also hasnít proven much in the passing game. This is more because he has not been utilized as a pass catcher, but he still needs to show his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. Of minor concern is his running style.
When healthy, Adrian Peterson is a true franchise back. Heís a playmaker and a workhorse. Peterson missed half the year because of a broken collarbone, so he did not show NFL executives that the injury riddled sophomore season was a fluke. He has serious durability concerns, but the show he put on after the season may cause some teams to overlook that. He could go as high as #3 to Cleveland, but will be taken in the Top 10 by someone.