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.

 

Let me know your thoughts on Cordarrelle Patterson in the comments.

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Topics: Cordarrelle Patterson, NFL Draft 2013, Pittsburgh Steelers, Wide Receivers

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  • 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/DefMode66 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.