Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Cordarrelle Patterson will not escape the first 16 picks
Written by Tiger Hebert
Tonight I watched NFL Network's Game Changers: Wide Receivers. I know that these shows are designed to put the players in the best light prior to the draft, but I still find this show to be valuable to watch each year. In tonight's episode they had Kenny Stills, Robert Woods, Keenan Allen, Da'Rick Rodgers and Cordarrelle Patterson.
A lot of people, myself included, have viewed this years draft class to be a down year for wide receivers. Not that the group won't be good, but that there appears to be a lack on the top end blue chip players. That may or may not be true, but this episode of Game Changers definitely had guys with the ability to produce at the next level.
The consensus top wide receiver in the group is the Tennessee Volunteers' Cordarrelle Patterson. At 6'2, 216 lbs Patterson ran a superb 4.42 official time in Indianapolis. He added a 37" vertical and a 10'8" broad jump to further display his explosiveness. No one really needed to see his measurables in Indy to know that he is an electrifying playmaker though. All they would have to do is watch any of his 2012 game tape as he dominated the elite competition that is the SEC conference. His 1,858 all purpose yards and 10 all purpose touchdowns show that he was Tennessee's most dangerous weapon.
Now there are some concerns with Patterson. He only played for one year at Tennessee after transferring in from Hutchinson C.C. (JUCO). Additionally, as he was only at a top tier program for one season, and his route running is far from polished as well as some of the finer nuances of the position, like down field body control when covered. These are things that he will need to learn from savy veterans at the next level, but if he is committed to his craft he will be fine.
Beyond his obvious physical skills, Patterson has tons of upside. Scouting reports and film confirms that he is a natural hands catcher and that he does have the body control to adjust to poorly thrown balls. Coaches have said the Patterson also possess impressive football intelligence, which will be vital for a rookie in one of the NFL's most difficult positions to learn.
Another aspect of Patterson that teams will like is the fact that his swag is off the charts, even compared to the other wide receivers on the show with him. Confidence will not be an issue for Patterson, which is going to be important with the pressure to immediately produce, that comes with being a top 15 pick.
One other small thing that I found interesting was how he reacted during the dialogue portions of the show. Steve Mariucci was asking the players how often the went back to the huddle and told their QBs that they were open. Each of them laughed as they said 100% of the time. However the conversation continued to how they would react if the ball was completed elsewhere. At this point a few of the receivers said if it doesn't come to them it was incomplete. Mostly they were laughing, but Cordarrelle responded twice by saying something to the effect of, "you guys are diva's." This whole exchange was funny and light-hearted, but I liked his response, because it showed that even though he wants the ball in his hands, that he is a true team-first player.
There is a pro-player comparison that I want to make, but it will surprise people. Not because it is hard to see, but because it is an NFL player that plays a different position. In fact, every time I watch Patterson with the ball in his hands, I see player who used to wear an orange jersey and had braids hanging out the back of his helmet. That player is the former Texas Longhorns' running back Jamaal Charles. Charles is only 5'11 and 199 lbs, but he is an explosive home-run threat every time he touches the ball. Despite being bigger at 6'2, 216 Patterson runs with a very similar lean and body control. His movements in the broken field are strikingly similar to Charles'. The only thing that I would like to see more of is Patterson getting North-South quicker, because in the NFL those running lanes will close much faster.
I know that many people will find a pro player comparison of a future NFL wide receiver to a current NFL running back to be odd or even useless, but the bottom line is that Patterson is a nightmare when the ball is in his hands like Charles. He may not rank as highly as Julio Jones, AJ Green or Dez Bryant, but I believe that he could prove to be just as, if not more explosive after the catch than any of them.
Cordarrelle Patterson will not escape the top 16.
Possible destinations: #8 Buffalo Bills, #9 New York Jets, #11 San Diego Chargers, #14 Carolina Panthers, #16 St Louis Rams.
Posted by Tiger Hebert at 9:24 PM