The Risk/Reward Factor with Cordarrelle Patterson

Sep 15, 2012; Knoxville, TN, USA; Tennessee Volunteers wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson (84) drops a pass while being pursued by Florida Gators defensive back Jaylen Watkins (14) during the second half at Neyland Stadium. Florida won by a score of 37 to 20. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Every year the NFL draft is filled with boom-or-bust, hit-or-miss or even can’t miss prospects, but with the crap shoot of the draft, every player is a risk.

Or reward.

Standing at a chiseled 6’2″ and 216lbs, the gazelle-like Cordarrelle Patterson is one of the most widely debated prospect in this year’s draft. His rare blend of size, explosiveness and his uncanny ability to make cuts on a dime is down right scary. You couldn’t run out of adjectives to describe Patterson: dynamic, a playmaker, elusive, shows toughness going over the middle of the field, a triple threat. He is the epitome of a Swiss Army knife. Besides the WR position where he played inside and out, he had 25 carries coming out the backfield at Tennessee, and was a phenomenal return man for the Vols. He has all the qualities you look for in a wide receiver.

But what causes team to shy away from the gifted pass-catcher is the consistent label that is slapped on his name.

Raw.

He only played one year at the FBS level. His athleticism allowed him to dominate mismatches on the college level, but everyone has the skills to matchup in the NFL. Patterson constantly catches the ball with his body, even when he doesn’t have to. He bails on routes, drops routine passes, his ad-libbing after the catch may cause preventable fumbles, and as strong as he is, he doesn’t overpower anyone at the line of scrimmage. This is a bit of a head-scratcher considering his size. He relies on his quickness too much to beat press coverage. NFL corners will expose him if he doesn’t fix this problem soon. A recent report has been released saying Patterson could fall out the first round, but with so many receiver-needy teams, I don’t see him falling beyond 20.

As of right now, Patterson is best suited on a team where he doesn’t have to fill the number one roll immediately. Scouts have compared him to either Julio Jones or Demaryius Thomas. I feel he falls more into comparisons to Randall Cobb of the Packers in the sense of how Green Bay utilizes his skills. The words potential and high ceiling frightens me when placed on any prospect. Those words bring more questions than answers.

But again, the NFL draft is a gamble.

When you have the upside that Patterson possesses, a Rams’ representative should sprint to the podium if he’s still on the board at 16.

Topics: 2013 NFL Draft, Cordarrelle Patterson, St. Louis Rams

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