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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