Defensive tackle Corey Peters, one of the Falcons third round draft picks, signed a four-year contract worth $3.297 million with team on Tuesday.
Peters, the 83rd pick overall, played at Kentukcy and was a three-year starter. Peters, who received a $767,000 signing bonus on his 22nd birthday, is the first Falcons draft pick to sign this season. They also selected Alabama offensive lineman Mike Johnson in the third round, 98th overall.
“The Falcons organization was great,” said Greg Linton, Peters’ Louisville-based agent. “We both wanted a fair deal and I think we achieved that. We worked out the details last night and kind of agreed to it this morning.”
Peters, 6-3, 305 pounds, made the SEC Academic honor roll twice at Kentucky.
“I got to call Corey and tell him that he was signing the contract on his birthday, that was a good feeling, ” Linton said.
Peters, who was projected to go in the fourth round, was selected with the 83rd overall pick.
ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper termed the move a “slight reach” on his draft board. Kiper also said that Peters has a “ways to go” and that he was a “developmental” player.
With the Falcons’ top pick from last year, defensive tackle Peria Jerry, still recovering from a knee injury, the teamed needed to add depth to the interior defensive line. If Jerry’s recovery hits a snag, Peters may have to play immediately.
At Kentucky, he played as a freshman.
Peters was a wrestler in high school. He has great body control and knows how to use his leverage and fight with his hands.
He became just the third member of the 2010 third round draft class to sign.
Florida safety Major Wright, who was selected 75th overall by Chicago, signed a four-year deal worth $3.363.
Ohio wide receiver Taylor Price, the 90th pick overall by New England, signed a four-year deal worth $3.35.
All of the contracts have a fourth year escalator clause.