The St. Louis Rams: Cordarrelle Patterson Vs Tavon Austin

Sep 8, 2012; Knoxville, TN, USA; Tennessee Volunteers wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson (84) runs the ball against the Georgia State Panthers during the game at Neyland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

The losses of veteran wide receivers Danny Amendola and Brandon Gibson was a dagger to Sam Bradfords chest. Although, with the addition of four time pro bowler left tackle Jake Long and former Titan tight end Jared Cook, Bradford will be looking forward to a solid 2013 offensive performance. Regardless of the helpful additions to the Rams offense, it’s still evident that the Rams must give Bradford more weapons. Since the Rams haven’t even put their toes into the free agency pool, it’s obvious that the Rams will be looking to solidify their receiving corps in the 2013 national draft.

For the past month, Cordarralle Patterson and Tavon Austin have been seperating themselves from the rest of the receiving corps due to their explosive performances at the combine and their pro days. Why directly compare Austin and Patterson? It’s simple, both players kick/punt return and both players are heavily involved in the passing and running game. With the NFL slowly evolving into a more slot receiving happy league, it would make sense for either player to land with the Rams – but which one?

Tavon Austin - 5 foot 9 / 178 pounds
Wide Receiver - West Virginia
Sam Bradford is missing his safety blanket in Danny Amendola, as he left for the New England Patriots for a more lucrative deal.  Outsiders looking in, would simply say “its just a slot receiver,” and you can’t argue with that. But Tiger Woods is just a golfer, he just also happens to be a damn good one and Tavon Austin is exactly that. Over the past two years, there was no question that Austin has been one of the most exciting and explosive players in college football.

Austin made a name for himself as a sophomore with eight touchdowns on 58 receptions for 787 yards in 2010. As a Junior he did not disappoint. The junior caught 101 passes for 1,186 yards and eight touchdowns.
As a Senior, Austin and Geno Smith tore apart secondaries. Austin totaled 114 receptions for 1,289 yards and 12 touchdowns this year. He also had 72 carries for 643 yards and three touchdowns. Austin was a genius in turning an average play into big yardage.
With Bradford not having the luxury to look out wide to a reliable receiver, it would make a lot sense for the Rams to snatch this dynamic slot receiver to help Bradford turn those dinky little 3 yard dump offs to short passes that go to the house.

Strengths

  • Explosive
  • Elite speed
  • Good route runner
  • Contributes as RB/Returner
  • Good Hands
  • Stretches the defense
  • Threat to score on any possession
  • Entertainer

Weaknesses

  • Very undersized
  • May lack the physicality to take constant hits
    ________________________________________________________________
Cordarrelle Patterson - 6 foot 3 / 205 pounds
Wide Receiver – Tennessee
Cordarrelle Patterson has a great build, coupled with some serious athleticism, to make it big in the NFL. Although he is unpolished as a route runner, once he has the ball in his hands (much like Austin), he has great YAC potential and can be a game-breaker from anywhere on the field. Since the NFL is starting to see these players who can do it all on offense, it would make a tonne of sense for the Rams to take a shot on a big bodied receiver with a lot of play making abilities. The NFC West has recently added another multi-purpose offensive talent to its division in former Viking, Percy Harvin, who is now a Hawk. If the Rams do decide to take Patterson, it would be a great way to set the tone for the rest of the NFC West.

In 2012, Patterson transfered from small school Hutchinson CC to Tennessee. Many doubted that he would be able to transfer his performance from the smaller colleges to the SEC. He answered those critics by lighting up matches, that included a 200+ receiving game against Troy. This was a superb performance, but Patterson’s weaknesses were exposed more against teams that had NFL caliber talent, such as Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina. Against such teams, he only had a total of six catches for 82 yards and no touchdowns. Although he does has a lot to show, he still has a lot to prove. Patterson had 46 catches for 778 yards and 5 touchdowns receiving and 308 yards for 3 touchdowns in 25 rushing attempts.

Strengths

  • Big bodied
  • Explosive
  • Elite speed
  • Versatile
  • Spreads defenses
  • Not scared to take hits
  • Can go up and take a catch in the middle
Weaknesses
  • Constantly a body catcher
  • Very raw
  • Didn’t prove himself against first round talents
  • Lacks as a route-runner
  • NFL learning curve will be steep

So there you have it. Will it be Tavon Austin? Or will it be the bigger bodied Cordarrelle Patterson? Right now, I see Sam Bradford being more comfortable with Austin, simply because year after year he has put up bigger and better numbers and he will only continue to grow. Patterson is still very raw and the Rams already have that big bodied raw wide receiver in Brian Quick. Bradford doesn’t have three years to wait on a potentially gifted wide receiver to blossom. If the Rams miss out on Austin, it would make more sense to grab Keenan Allen with the 22nd pick. But that’s another story for another time. Bradford just lost his favourite target in Amendola, why not replace him straight away with a more explosive, dangerous and faster play maker?

Leave your comments below, what’s your opinion?

Follow @davebarber92 for more updates

 

Topics: NFL Draft, St. Louis Rams

Want more from Ramblin' Fan?  
Subscribe to FanSided Daily for your morning fix. Enter your email and stay in the know.
  • Nathan Kearns

    Tavon Austin seems to be lacking a bit in the “weaknesses” department! How about…

    Restricted to inside/slot receiver play in offensive formation, especially against NFC West opponents

    Little to no experience against NFL-caliber competition

    Played with first-round caliber talent at skill positions (Geno Smith, Stedman Bailey, etc.)

    Occasionally goes missing in “big games” (i.e. nationally televised, such as Kansas State, Oklahoma, and WVU’s Bowl game, the New Era Pinstripe Bowl)

    Second best receiver on WVU (i.e. Stedman Bailey, again)…

    • Nathan Kearns

      Oh yea, and doesn’t Cordarrelle Patterson return kicks and rush as well? If I am not mistaken, Patterson had a touchdown in four different areas in his one year of college play: kickoff return, punt return, rushing, receiver! The kid has a ceiling unlike any player in this draft…

      • Dave

        in the strengths, patterson is down for ‘versatile’. covers everything he does on O. i wouldnt say Austin went ‘missing’ against Oklahoma. He had 4 catches for 82 yards and 344 yards rushing for 2 touchdowns. 426 yards total offense. Bit harsh if you call that ‘missing’. Austin also had touchdowns in kick off return, punt return, rushing and receiving.

        • Dave

          also with the kansas state game. although he didnt hurt the opposition with receiving or rushing yards, he still managed a receving TD and a 100 yard kick off return for a TD. Ive found with Austin, if he has a quiet game on offense, he will turn it up on special teams, and if hes quiet on special team hes dominant on offense, or hes dominant at both. Either way hes going to play a major on the outcome of the game. So both of the big games he played in, he showed that he can really light games up and simply be exciting to watch.

          • Dave

            i agree Austin is limited to the slot, but is that really a weakness? I did have that there, before deleting it. Because we’ve both seen Bradfords favourite positon to throw to… the slot receiver. so although being ‘limited’ to the slot may be a weakness to some teams, it certainily isnt for Bradford and the Rams. 100 yards is 100 yards. regardless if its looking pretty on the outside or if its a 2 yard dump off in the slot. at the end of the day, it doesnt matter where you get your yards from.

          • Beer O’Clock

            It’s a strong weakness when the Rams already have one receiver who catches well in the slot–actually two if you count Givens.

            With Patterson, you could have three sets, all three providing strong mismatches:

            Set #1: Cook at TE, Givens in the slot and Patterson at the #1 wideout. Ultimate speed lineup.

            Set #2: Kendricks at TE, Cook in the slot and Givens at the #1 wideout. Size and speed mismatches.

            Set #3: Kendricks at TE, Cook in the slot and Patterson at the #1 wideout. Multiple size mismatches and still have speed. A tremendous red-zone lineup.

            Sets #2 and #3 would be extremely productive when running, especially Set #3. Name a better blocking slot receiver than Jared Cook.

            And, all this doesn’t even factor in the development of Brian Quick.

            Tavon Austin is very talented, but Patterson is a better fit for the Rams.

          • Dave

            all are good scenarios. but still would prefer chris givens consistently on the outside. Sort of the same role as mike wallace. And i feel relying on patterson at number 1 is a massive gamble, considering he just had one year at a big college, before moving from a small college. Austin has learnt pro style offenses. inc. west coast. patterson is a super talent. but i just cant see rams passing on Austin, (if hes still available). Brian Quick won’t wow us with stats again in 2013, but you’ll see a massive improvement. He only progressed as the year went on last season, and expect the same this year. So im comfortable with him at no.2, especially with another pre season under his belt. I know this is a little off topic, but next years draft for wide receivers is the same level as AJ Green and Julio Jones. i watch austin and im hooked, i watch patterson and im impressed. It’s Austin for me.

          • Beer O’Clock

            …and keep Jared Cook on the line?

          • Dave

            all Austin would be doing is replacing Amendola. im not sure exactly (who is) what the coaches will be doing in terms of positional rotation. but your right, cook will be lined up off the line in the slot from time to time, but he’ll also be lined up a lot on the outside a lot , as he did in tennessee. People forget that he’s stature and speed is very similar to megatron…(with megatron being a little bit faster). so hes more than capable of being that big WR who can swap with Quick as well as rotating with Austin.
            Speaking of Austin, where dos Austin Pettis fit in with all this? haha

          • Beer O’Clock

            Boy, Ramblin–you obviously want Tavon Austin bad.

            Jared Cook lined up at slot 56 percent of the time with Tennessee and caught the majority of his passes from the slot. He rarely lined up on the outside and no, Jared Cook is nowhere near the skill set of Calvin Johnson. They’re both big and fast, but that’s about where the comparison ends. If Cook could run routes, run a sub 4.4, move laterally, cut quickly and catch like Calvin Johnson, the Titans would have never let him go.

            Givens is actually built more like a slot receiver and proved, when Amendola was hurt against the 49′ers, to do very well in the slot. Had Amendola not been on the team, Givens would have been the Ram’s starting slot receiver.

            So, effectively, you have one guy who clearly produces better from the slot and another who most likely will produce better from the slot limited because you want Austin. That’s fine (and only fine because of Austin’s superlative tape), but I prefer to go with a prototypical #1 receiver (tall, big, fast, with good leaping abilities) primarily because it is less limiting to the two PROVEN receivers the Ram’s roster and it provides much more flexibility for the Rams to do other things (like run effectively, red zone sets, passing over the middle more) to keep defenses honest.

            If Patterson is gone before the #16 pick–which is most likely–I hope the Rams do get Austin because I’d like to see what he can do in the NFL. My guess he’ll be electric and get more than his fair-share of NFL Highlight moments, but we’ll be saying the same thing we did about Amendola (he’s a favorite of ours, but I wish he wasn’t injured so much).

            Time will tell.

          • Nathan Kearns

            Agreed, I have never understood this idea that Chris Givens would be better on the outside than in the slot. He performed extremely well on the inside in the absence of Amendola, and would perform even better consistently mismatched against nickel backs, safeties, and, god forbid, an outside linebacker. Tavon Austin is explosive out of the slot, but the St. Louis Rams, and Sam Bradford, have always had adequate talent between the wideouts and lineman… and it hasn’t worked. The St. Louis Rams need help on the outside, to open up the middle of the field for the tight ends and ensure that the defense cannot stack the box. Relying heavily on slot play has been the downfall of the Rams’ offense since Bradford was drafted in ’10, and continuing to ignore the “wide” receiver spot will only continue that trend. Patterson may be raw, but he has played against NFL-caliber players, and has something that Tavon Austin will never have… size. It is an understated trait in the NFL, and in a division with 6’4, 225 lbs. cornerbacker and Pro Bowl, hard-hitting interior linebackers, we need someone that can handle the beating…

          • Dave

            I like patterson, although he has played against NFL- caliber players, they were the games he didnt perform. I love the idea of Givens on the outside. He simply spreads the defenses, something the Rams havent been able to do in the past 5 years. Givens, Austin, Cook, and Quick/Pettis receiving would be a pretty site. And between them, theres more than enough size.

            At the end of the day. Its Austin simply replacing Amendolas position. Do we need to replace Amendola.. yes.

            Hear me now believe me later. Austin will be a great player for the Rams.

          • Nathan Kearns

            With Amendola, the St. Louis Rams were still a sub-15 offense. We need something different, not a replacement. Who is replacing Brandon Gibson on the outside? Brian Quick?

            Even keeping the current roster, you could have Quick and Givens on the outside and Pettis/Cook in the slot. Pettis played extremely well in the slot, and progressed nicely; catching nearly as many touchdowns as Calvin Johnson in 1/4 the targets…

          • Nathan Kearns

            No one say Tavon Austin wouldn’t be an amazing assert, but replacing a slot receiver isn’t going to drastically change the offense.

            Also, Givens can “spread the field” laterally from any position on the field. And why wouldn’t adding a player like Patterson do the same thing? Corners aren’t going to respect him on the outside…

            Come on now

          • Dave

            because your replacing a player, doesnt mean theyre going to have the exact same performance levels. e.g. if Lions replaced Megatron with another WR…with the the exact same role. the performance level would be completely different. Same goes for Austin in terms of replacing Amendola. Different players. Different performance levels. i just cant see Patterson being that no.1 WR. Same goes for Austin. will he be a no.1 WR? no. But will he tear a part offenses? yes. at the end of the day, ‘no.1′ receiver is just a status. but performance, is performance, yards are yards and touchdowns are touchdowns. And if Rams truely want that ‘no.1′ guy. 2014 draft is filled with them. I know its annoying looking into the 2014 draft class now, while the 2013 draft is about to happen. But no point rushing to choose an average ‘no.1′ receiver to try and fill a need. when you can wait a year to fill actually fill that need. Rome wasnt built in a day.

            Oh, and plenty of successful offenses in 2012 didn’t have that ‘no.1′ guy. Patriots. Giants. and Green Bay. But what did they have? they either had great TE’s or a great slot receiver.

            Rams have good TE’s and would have a terrific slot…. if they draft Austin. ….. Recipe for a successful offense. For that so called ‘no.1′ guy he can wait for 2014.

          • Dave

            never said Cook had the skill set of megatron. simply said his ‘stature and speed’ was similar. cook has ran a sub 4.4 before. And yes givens is still better on the outside. regardless of his build. hes 6ft and 195 pounds…. reminds me of a player who used to play for the Rams… torry holt., you may of heard of him? Holt was 6 ft and 200, dont remember him lining up in the slot to often. why limit givens speed, route running and deep threat ability in the slot? there was a reason why he was a back up to amendola in the slot….because he’s simply preferred on the outside. Austin would provide the best replacement for Amendola. As it is hard to find a strict slot receiver, i cant see the Rams passing on Austin…if he even falls that far. with another pre season under givens’ belt. expect massive upside from givens on the outside, as he will develop into a Mike wallace type receiver.

  • James Rooster

    I see tayvon going higher then 16. So say that’s the case, then we need to go after vaccaro at 16 trade down a couple spots or just take hunter at 22, ogletree there wudnt be bad also. The defense would be set, could go offense the rest of the draft if we wanted to. Second round, wide receiver, Texas a&m, Ryan Swope. The mans Danny amendola 2.0 he has tavon Austin speed an quickness plus he has good size for a slot, also he can line up on the outside. I believe someone is going to get a badass outta him.

TEAMFeed More Rams news from the Fansided Network

Hot on the Web From stlouisrams.com