Patterson hasn’t officially declared for the draft but all signs point in that direction. We examine if he has what it takes to be the top receiver in the draft.
Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE
Unique. That describes Cordarrelle Patterson to a tee. Patterson brings a unique versatility to the next level that hasn’t been seen before. At my count, Patterson lined up as a back, threw a pass (28-yard completion), returned punts, returned kicks, and oh yeah, he played wide receiver.
Patterson’s versatility led to him breaking the Tennessee all-purpose yardage mark as he accounted for 1,858 yards in a disappointing 5-7 season for the Volunteers. To put Patterson’s numbers into perspective, we compare him to West Virginia’s Tavon Austin, arguably college football’s most versatile player. In 2012, Austin accounted for 231 total touches amassing 2,760 total yards. Patterson accounted for 99 total touches to accumulate his 1,858 yards. On a per touch basis, Austin averages 11.9 yards while Patterson averages 18.8 yards. One slight difference, Austin checks in at 5-foot-9 and 176 pounds while Patterson goes 6-foot-3, 200 pounds.
At 6-foot-3, 200 pounds it’s conceivable that Patterson could run a sub-4.4 40 yard dash at the NFL Combine. He’s an elite athlete with rare wingspan/catching radius. Patterson is a guy that you can check all the boxes from a physical standpoint. When Patterson sets his mind to dominating a game, he can. It’s so rare that a wide receiver can take over a game but Patterson is capable of doing just that.
Outside of the physical gifts that Patterson possesses, he brings a new meaning to open field ability. Maybe Patterson greatest gift is his vision and feel for space in the open field. There are numerous occasions where Patterson appears dead to rights but finds a hole or crease and uses his unreal speed to expose the defense. Tavon Austin is absolutely special in the open field but he is matched by Patterson in this receiving class.
With most every NFL prospects there are downsides. For Patterson, they revolve around the question of does he have “it” in him to be great. There were times in the middle of the season that Patterson appeared disinterested in playing at a high level. He was a relative non-factor against Akron, Alabama, and South Carolina. In games against Mississippi State and Georgia it appeared that Tennessee was manufacturing ways to get him into the game, whether it be on reverses or on special teams.
Patterson will need to become a more fluid route runner at the next level. He relied on his speed and frame to win matchups as his routes looked lazy at times. This may be a product of the fact that Patterson was essentially a freshman last season and will come with good coaching and experience in an NFL system.
As many of my readers know, a personal pet peeve of mine is diva wide recievers. It’s so 2005. Today’s NFL dominant NFL receivers are anti-diva’s. Patterson is known to celebrate before getting to the endzone and brings the diva factor to the game. My hope is that maturing in the NFL will be a quick process and put an end to Patterson’s diva days.
Pictures speak louder than words, so I take to the film to show you the highlight film that is Cordarrelle Patterson. Read the rest of this entry » «Making a case for Cordarrelle Patterson as the top receiver in the 2013 NFL Draft class»