Growing up in B1G country, I have seen my fair share of great quarterbacks. One of them being former Purdue Boilermakers quarterback Drew Brees.
Is Nathan Peterman be the second coming of the former star?
Brees, the future Hall of Fame and Super Bowl-winning quarterback of the New Orleans Saints shattered various conference and school records en route to leading Purdue to its first Rose Bowl appearance since 1967.
As stated above, I grew up in the part of the country where former college greats such as Tom Brady, Russell Wilson, Kerri Collins, Kirk Cousins and Troy Smith, and yet out of all of them it was the scrappy and undersized Brees that let the biggest impression.
Despite barely being above six feet, Brees displayed a combination of toughness, accuracy, anticipation and leadership that left even this die-hard Ohio State fan in awe—and fear—when he was in West Lafeyette.
Fast forward 17 years, over 60,000 passing yards, two teams, and one Super Bowl championship later and Brees is without question one of THE greatest quarterbacks ever.
While I feel that the aforementioned Brady is the G.O.A.T. of the Super Bowl era followed by Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning, Brees and Ben Roethlisberger, there has just always been something about Brees, that just stood out.
Mostly, it was his moxie, mobility, and fearlessness combined with his downfield aggressiveness.
When I recently saw the highlights of former Pitt Panther quarterback—and Tennessee transfer—Nathan Peterman, I immediately thought I saw the same thing.
At 6’2 and 225 pounds, Peterman is two inches and roughly twenty-plus pounds heavier than Brees, but in looking at his highlights from Pitt this season, you cannot help but see some the of similarities in Peterman.
During the 2016-17 season, Peterman passed for 2,855 yards, 27 touchdowns and seven interceptions.
In a memorable back-and-forth duel with future first-round pick and national champion in Clemson’s Deshaun Watson, Peterman threw five touchdowns will passing for a season-high 308 yards in engineering a 43-42 road upset of the then second-ranked Tigers.
With a QB class that features the aforementioned Watson and has the likes of Mitchell Trubisky, Patrick Mahomes II, Davis Webb and Joshua Dobbs, Peterman could very well be the sleeper of the entire group.
With comparisons ranging from Brees to Kirk Cousins, Russell Wilson and even Dak Prescott—in terms of being a late-round bargain by mock draft experts, Peterman could go anywhere from the early second round to the top of the third.
Peterman’s best fit would likely be a team needing to develop an heir apparent to an aging quarterback such as the New York Giants, Los Angeles Chargers or the New Orleans Saints—who have, you guessed it!—Brees, who is set to go into his 18th NFL season.
With the upcoming draft less than three weeks away, and teams likely starting to put their draft boards together, don’t be shocked to hear Peterman’s name mentioned more between now and then.
In terms being the next coming of Brees, I know the comparison may seem like hyperbole to some, but in getting to see Brees at Purdue and following his NFL career in San Diego and now New Orleans, I know better than most, of when I can see the second coming of a player I’ve always deemed one of the best ever.
Don’t be shocked if Peterman does in fact morph into the second coming of Brees.