Could Cordarrelle Patterson Be the Next Great Steelers Wide Receiver?

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As I heard from several people familiar with the situation, as well as analysts, I had been a bit apprehensive about the idea of the Steelers taking Cordarrelle Patterson with the 17th overall pick. The Steelers need a great draft in order to continue their run of success. A prospect with suposide “question marks” is not the most ideal for the Steelers right now. My opinion totally changed when Gerry Dulac from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette posted his answer to a question from a Steelers fan this past week asking him who the Steelers select if Jarvis Jones, Kenny Vaccaro and Cordarrelle Patterson were all there when the Steelers were on the clock at 17 overall:

I think they select Patterson. The Steelers do not believe he is raw and unfinished, as some scouts do. Is he a complete receiver after playing just one good season at Tennessee? No. But he has the size, speed and physical ability to be a player who catches the ball in the middle of the field or on the outside. He is not a one-trick pony like someone else we know.
One of the Steelers coaches told me when he gets his hands on the ball, forget it.

The Steelers seem like they would be more than willing to draft the young receiver. Coach Tomlin can also be seen talking to Patterson at the Tennessee pro day. Tomlin also took out quarterback Tyler Bray to dinner, more than likely picking his brain on Cordarrelle. Patterson would come in right away and at least be the kick returner/punt returner. With Wallace going to Miami, we can’t have Antonio Brown back returning. We also can’t have our other starter, Emmanuel Sanders back returning either. With Rainey being cut, the Steelers really have no threats in the return game. One scout said ” He’s the best returner I’ve seen since Devin Hester.” New special teams coach Danny Smith would welcome a return man like Patterson. Patterson is also perfect for the offense the Steelers want to run under Todd Haley. Last year, Wallace was asked to run slants, which he struggles at due to lack of physicality. Patterson, on the other hand, is fantastic at the slant as he rarely gets taken out when he goes across the middle. Also, the Steelers need a receiver to add to the mix. Hearing Emmanuel Sanders agent makes it sound like it will be hard to sign him to the long term next offseason. Next offseason, Plaxico Burress is a free agent, as well as Jerricho Cotchery. As things stand now, Antonio Brown will be the lone receiver on the roster after the 2013 football season. Even if we were to get Burress and Cotchery back, neither is a starter at this point in their career. Cordarrelle Patterson would be able to fill this void.

September 29, 2012; Athens, GA, USA; Tennessee Volunteers wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson (84) runs after a catch in the game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium. The Bulldogs won 51-44. Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Unlike some teams, the Steelers would not need Patterson to come in and be the number one receiver for their team. He would have time to develop and finally give Ben Roethlisberger the big target he has always wanted at receiver. Fans will always bring up the cons when discussing a prospect, always trying to find the “perfect prospect.” I am here to tell you there is no perfect prospect. You will always find something wrong with every player that looks to make a career in the NFL if you look deep enough. Cordarrelle Patterson is by no means a complete prospect, but wide receivers coach Richard Mann can teach Patterson how to refine his routes and teach him a pro style offense. You can’t teach the natural gifts and measurables that Cordarrelle Patterson posseses. Maybe he is a boom-bust prospect, but I see a young man who could be the next great Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver.


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