Cordarrelle Patterson | Wide Receiver | Tennessee | 6'3, 205 pounds
2012 Stats: 46 catches, 778 yards receiving yards, 5 touchdowns, 25 rushes, 308 rushing yards, 3 touchdowns, 2 return touchdowns
Cordarrelle Patterson didn't exactly take a traditional route to success in the football world. He didn't play football during his senior season of high school, forcing him to take the junior college route. Things worked out for Patterson, though. He broke some records and landed at an SEC team with a high-powered offense. Once Da'Rick Rogers was dismissed from Tennessee's football program, the door opened for Patterson to make some noise.
He did just that, impacting the game as a receiver, a runner and returner. He compiled more than 1,000 combined yards rushing and receiving and had 10 total touchdowns, proving to be one of the most dangerous players in the country with the ball in his hands. Patterson has a real shot at being drafted in the first round, and it is not out of the question for Patterson to be the first wide receiver off the board.
Patterson is one of the smoothest, most explosive athletes in this draft class. He bursts off the line of scrimmage with ease and loses no speed in and out of his breaks, making it easy for him to get separation from cornerbacks. While Patterson is a bit thin on his frame, he uses his body well to get position on inside slant routes and when fighting for positioning down the sidelines.
Once the ball is in his hands, Patterson is a threat to break a big play. He has the vision and ability to change directions in order to find holes in the defense, and always seems to be ready to turn up field after catching the ball.Patterson's play-making ability after the catch has more to do with his ability to make tacklers miss than his vision and pure speed, though. He has plenty of natural instincts for the game, and that is especially evident when he has the football in his hands.
For as dynamic a player as he is, Patterson needs to become more physical in fighting through press coverage. Despite his size, he is not a particularly strong player, thus he gets jammed easily at the line of scrimmage. He also loses focus too frequently, causing dropped passes, fumbles or careless plays. Likewise, his blocking efforts left quite a bit to be desired during his season at Tennessee.
In addition to his lack of focus, Patterson also doesn't have the best technique when catching passes. He often lets the ball come into his body and tries to turn up field before reeling the ball in. That caused too many passes to hit the turf this season.
Patterson is a high-ceiling player that will be an attractive option for a lot of teams due to his explosiveness. Some, including Mel Kiper, consider Patterson to be the best wide receiver in the draft, but it will all come down to fit and what teams are looking for. Patterson isn't quite as polished as some other receivers in this class, but he provides a playmaking threat that few in this class can match.
Pro Comparison: Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos
I made this comparison earlier in the year and it seems to fit. Thomas is a bit bigger and was a bit more of an enigma as a route runner coming out of college than Patterson is. But like Patterson, Thomas was a big time talent coming out of college that didn't have a ton of polish to his game. They have similar play styles as well.
Video from Draftbreakdown.com: