Could Cordarrelle Patterson Be the Next Great Steelers Wide Receiver?

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Oct 20, 2012; Knoxville, TN, USA; Tennessee Volunteers wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson (84) Could Patterson be the next great Steelers receiver? Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

What do you get when you cross Percy Harvin, Julio Jones and Santonio Holmes? The former Tennessee Volunteers wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson. This 6-3, 205 lb receiver took his talents to the division-1 college football stage this past season, starting 12 games for the Volunteers. Over the course of the 2012 season, Patterson had 46 receptions for 778 yards. He also was used as a running back out of the back field, rushing for 308 yards on 25 carries. Between rushing and receiving, Patterson scored a total of 8 touchdowns. Not only was Cordarrelle Patterson a large part of the offense, he also was honored as the 2012 Second Team All-SEC Return Specialist, as well as 2012 First Team All-SEC All-Purpose Player. His elite athleticism, along with his incredible burst led to him striking fear in opposing special team coaches. In 2012, he had 101 punt return yards over 4 returns, scoring 1 touchdown. On kickoff returns, Patterson had 671 yards over 24 returns, scoring 1 touchdown.

Cordarrelle Patterson is the definition of “human highlight reel.” The one word that comes to mind when watching this star wideout is “wow!” He is a speedy, but physical wide receiver. Patterson is a home run threat anytime he has the ball in his hands. Watching his film, I counted numerous times where he would slip tackles, make defenders miss, and make something out of nothing. One could almost call him “the Big Ben of wide receivers.” Patterson many times looked like he was running into a dead end. For most players, this would have been a dead end; not Cordarrelle Patterson. His ability to make big plays for the Volunteer offense was evident, as he averaged 16.9 yards/catch. Patterson reminds me of a combination of Harvin, Jones, and Holmes for several reasons. Like Harvin, he is extremely versitale. Patterson, like Jones, is a big physical pass catcher. Jones is obviously more complete, but Patterson has shown some characteristics of Jones. One receiver that Patterson reminded me of when I began evaluating him is Santonio Holmes. Due to the slip in Holmes’ play, many have forgotten the shifty, scary in the open field, punt returner extrordinaire. Patterson, to me, is like a big Santonio Holmes, without the off-field issues. Both players can elude tacklers, and can be home run threats at all times.

The biggest knock on Patterson is the fact he only has played division-1 college football for one season. Many analysts label Cordarrelle Patterson as a “boom or bust prospect.” Analysts also say that Patterson will struggle learning the pro style offense. It’s a very valid point, but the way I see it, he doesn’t need to have an extensive knowledge of the  NFL route tree. With his physicals gifts, you find ways to get him the ball. He has an unbelievable second gear as well as an incredible catch radius. If you don’t believe me, check out how physically gifted he is on the ESPN segment “Sports Science.” Like most wideout prospects coming out of college, he does have some holes to his game. When watching his game film, I noticed that he tended to run loose routes, that need to be much more crisp to succeed in the NFL. Another knock on Patterson is his inconsistent hands. He can make highlight reel catches, but he can drop some easy balls as well. Even with these issues to his game, Cordarrelle Patterson will still hear his name called by the commishiner on day 1 of the draft.

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Tags: Cordarrelle Patterson NFL Draft 2013 Pittsburgh Steelers Wide Receivers

  • disqus_wdLdx4W76r

    I like it..Havent seen too many mocks that have Him on the board still at 17 though. For some strange reason i fell they disapoint every one and go O-line again. But maybe its because im not The biggest Colbert fan.He and Tomlin are not the best when it comes to personell choices. Lets cross our fingers

    • Nick Kelly

      It could be dodgy on if he is on the board or not. I could see MN trading up for him, or tavon austin, and then the rams would most likely take him. but like gerry dulac said, some teams view him as too raw, which could be an advantage to us. I also have an article coming up about a dark horse that could be there coming out on tuesday, so check back.

  • Dennis Hutton

    The Steelers need playmakers and Patterson is a playmaker. I don’t care if he needs to polish his route running. This kid can fly and has a big frame and is physical. He can find the end zone.

    • Nick Kelly

      Totally agree. worst case scenario, he helps our special teams with returning his first season. I could see him becoming a pro bowl returner

  • Dom DiTolla

    As I’ve stated multiple times, Patterson is the ultimate “boom or bust” pick of this draft. He’s either going to make multiple Pro Bowls, or flame-out horribly because of his issues catching the ball, issues running his routes, and if he in fact struggles to pick up an N.F.L. offense.

    You did fail to mention how Patterson was not even the most productive receiver on his team and logged 219 of his 778 receiving yards last year against Troy. Sure, he might have shined as a kick returner, but how many chances will he really have with the new kickoff rules in place?

    If the Steelers brass’ think that Patterson can put it “all together” as a receiver though, then more power to them. He’s too risky of a pick in my opinion with so many other pressing needs to address, and so many other receivers who can be had in Rounds 2, 3, and 4.

    • Kirby Hogenmiller

      You heard what Gerry Dulac said. Steelers like him regardless of what you think. And in my opinion Hopkins is the best receiver in this draft, and far and away better then Keenan Allen, or Justin Hunter.Patterson may be a boom or bust pick but you cannot argue with his potential. Patterson could be as good as a Julio Jones, or an AJ Green, and I think we all agree we need a receiver who could potentially be as good as AJ Green. Patterson can be that player if he’s willing to work hard, and put the time in learning the fundamentals from Richard Mann. Also this is a deep safety class, and vacaro isn’t that much better then the next safety. Jarvis Jones has been reported by both scouts and Coaches to have a terrible work ethic so it may be fair to write him off, unless Mingo or Dion Jordan was Miracously there at 17 we probably wont take an OLB. So that leaves WR or TE, We need a big playmaker for Ben like Eifert, Hopkins, or Patterson. We have no clue if Keenan Allen will be the same player he was before he got hurt.

      • Dom DiTolla

        I agree that Hopkins would be a fantastic choice (outside of his apparent apartment trashing recently), but the apparent interest in Patterson could simply be a smoke-screen. It’s “lying season” and the Steelers might have had their eyes on other pass-catchers (Hunter, Da’Rick Rogers, Zach Rogers) or even Tyler Bray at Tennessee’s Pro Day.

        While Patterson has all of the “potential” and “could” be a great wide receiver, he still has major holes in his game. In fact, one could argue that he is just as much of a gamble at #17 as a player as polished and talented as Allen later on in Round 1 who the Steelers could trade back to acquire acquire, and gain much needed extra picks in the process.

        I mean, if Patterson doesn’t understand the offense, can’t catch the ball consistently, or run the correct routes in the passing game, then what good is he to Roethlisberger and the rest of the team? Plus, by the time Cordarrelle reaches his full “potential” (if he even does), how many years down the road will it be? And will the cap-strapped Steelers be able to afford him if he only starts to shine in his contract year?

        Heck, I’ll be as excited and intrigued as anybody if Patterson comes to town. The added elements he could potentially bring to the offense would be fantastic. I just hope it pans out, otherwise it’ll be “bust city” a la Mendenhall and Hood once again.

        • Kirby Hogenmiller

          As Nick stated everyone of these players have problems. It really is just a matter of can their problems be coached up. For people who point out how Patterson scored a 11 on his wonderlic they fail to remember that Green, scored a 10 on his, and Tavon Austin scored a 7 yet both of those players are blessed with athleticism. I just don’t want Patterson’s suposed Inteligence and Raw Abilities being used as an excuse for not picking up a player who could end up being very good. And I don’t want to see the Steelers play it safe and pick a player who is good but not great like Vacarro for instance. However this is all just speculation because theres no guarantee he will fall to us.And i hope they don’t pick Hunter Because the guy just doesn’t look all that great when I watch him. And i doubt they will pick Rogers because of his off field issues. And Zac Dysert has a higher chance of being picked then Tyler Bray.

          • Dom DiTolla

            Look there’s no denying that Patterson has the potential to be a terrific player. But what if Patterson can’t be coached up as easily as you and Nick believe? I mean, the Steelers haven’t really been getting an “A+” in the development of players department during the Tomlin regime.

            Having deficiencies when it comes to route-running, understanding offenses, and being as raw as Patterson is coming into the league are never good things. Can he be brought along? Yes. But the risk is just as high if not higher than the reward. I still would like to know if he can block on a consistent basis. Furthermore, I’m intrigued to see if he can hold his own against bigger pro corners who will jam and re-route him early in his career.

            I’m not saying that all these receivers don’t have certain deficiencies, I’m just saying that Patterson’s are pretty damn glaring and if they are not fixed, he could turn into a huge bust.

            You might not want to see the Steelers “play it safe,” but that does not necessarily mean that the scouts and talent evaluators will.

            I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what unfolds this weekend.

          • Nick Kelly

            Dom, you have so many valid points, which have gone through my mind several times. I had been off and on with drafting Cordarelle for a long time. The pure play making ability is amazing, but he has a lot of risks. You said that the coaching staff havent been the greatest in development, but the addition of Richard Mann is very underated. I never liked scottie montogomery because he was too lax on the fundamentals and lacked the leadership. I believe Mann can teach most anyone to get the best of their mentality. You said it may be a smokescreen, which it could be, but look at the pictures on my twitter feed of tomlin next to patterson. Tomlin showed serious interest in Patterson, good or bad. I do actually think our best option is to trade with say minnesota, atlanta or San francisco. Like I said before though, you have so many questions about him, but even Luke Joeckel could turn out to be a total bust. Its just the draft. I totally respect where you are coming from.

  • Clint Martin

    From what I am hearing The kid is not intelligent enough.To quickly learn a NFL playbook this is why Tenn. used him a lot for screen and reverse plays.