Stanford tackle Andrus Peat, the son of former Cardinals offensive lineman Todd Peat and product of Tempe Corona del Sol High School, speaks at the Scouting combine Wednesday.
INDIANAPOLIS -- Andrus Peat was anything but a late-bloomer in the physical sense. The former Stanford left tackle checked in at 6-foot-7 and 313 pounds at the NFL Scouting combine on Wednesday, and he's been towering over his peers since childhood.
His dad, Todd Peat, is a former offensive lineman of the Cardinals and Raiders whose frame was passed down to each of his sons. Kids who grow quickly tend to dominate sports at an early age, which Andrus did growing up in Arizona. However, it was basketball and track in which he excelled -- football wasn't an option until high school because of dad's orders.
"I'm pretty beat up (from years of football)," Todd Peat said. "I have some cognitive issues. I have some physical issues. My kids are pretty big boys, so we felt like we'd wait until they were older."
Peat remembers waiting anxiously for his freshman year at Tempe Corona del Sol High School to arrive so he could finally begin his football journey. Andrus admitted it was tough to skip Pop Warner and middle school football, but while some younger athletes get burned out by constant participation for years on end, Peat was fresh.
"Once I started playing it, I fell in love with the game," he said.
While Andrus wasn't refined, it didn't take long for colleges to notice the NFL genes had trickled down from Todd. Andrus was one of the state's top recruits as a senior and chose Stanford over myriad high-profile offers. Peat started for two seasons and part of a third with the Cardinal and he now projects as a first-round pick in April's NFL draft. While many of the other top prospects are close to finished products, some of Peat's appeal is in his upside.
"Two years from now he's going to be a completely different kid," NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said.
Peat said on Wednesday the two toughest players he's had to block are UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr and former teammate Trent Murphy, a second-round pick of the Redskins last year. His initial introduction to Murphy didn't go so well, but Peat eventually improved to make it an intense competition at practice.
"His darkest day was his freshman year when he couldn't block Trent Murphy," Peat Sr. said. "He called me in tears. I (recently) read something where Murphy was asked about the toughest guy you ever went against. Andrus Peat. That meant a lot."
Murphy and Peat were both Phoenix-area high school stars who went out-of-state for college, which is a trend in the Peat family. Andrus has an older brother, Todd, Jr., who played college football at Nebraska, and a younger one, Cassius, who recently committed to Michigan State.
Peat, Sr. and his wife, Jana, never pressured the kids to stay home for college, instead stressing academics as the utmost priority.
"We never wanted them to say, 'Mom, Dad, you told us to go here,'" Peat Sr. said.
While the hometown pull was not strong enough after high school, Andrus has an affinity for the local NFL team. He rooted for the Cardinals and Raiders growing up and said it was his dream as a kid to play for one of them. The Cardinals' facility is just a couple of miles from Corona del Sol. Even recently, the transition from a Stanford Cardinal to an Arizona Cardinal remained on his mind.
"I asked him a year ago if he had a team he wants to play for," Peat, Sr. said. "He said the Cardinals."
Peat hasn't met with the Arizona brass yet, but said the interview will feel different from the others because it hits closer to home.
The catch now is that Peat does not pick his destination, and he could be selected before the Cardinals choose at No. 24. If he drops, there's no guarantee the team takes him, anyway, as Jared Veldheer has a lock on the left tackle spot and the right side is not a glaring hole with the 2014 emergence of Bobby Massie. Keim, though, has always said he will take the best player available, because a team's needs are always changing.
If Peat does end up with the Cardinals, offseason workouts won't be his first time stepping inside the training facility. When Peat was finishing up high school, his dad set up a tour at the Cardinals' complex to give Andrus motivation. After slow-playing football as Andrus grew up, Todd has enjoyed sharing the common interest over the past several years.
Now they're on the precipice of the rare air of a father-son combination with NFL experience. If Andrus gets invited to the draft, it will probably only be Jana who accompanies him to Chicago as Todd stays back in Arizona.
No matter where they are on that day, they'll experience it together.
"He's obviously really proud," Andrus Peat said. "He's given me a lot of advice to prepare me. He's been where I want to go, so he's been really helping me out."