"Bust" Alert: Cordarrelle Patterson

Every year during the draft there are first round picks that just don’t perform up to standard, and then the 6th and 7th round draft picks that surprise everybody and become superstars. Nobody really knows for sure how a player will perform once they get to the NFL. No matter what a so called “expert” says, every pick is a risk. However some picks are more risky that others, and one player that may be the most risky pick in this year’s draft is Cordarrelle Patterson.

Patterson is a great athlete and is a physical monster being 6’2 216lbs. Patterson also has the ability to make a play from anywhere on the field which makes him appealing to NFL teams. Patterson could be a great addition to the Rams. However, Patterson is a raw talent and only played one season of college football at the FBS level for Tennessee where he succeeded very well and has earned the right of being considered by many as the best receiver in the draft and a possible top 10 pick.

Patterson is a huge high risk high reward player. Patterson would have a lot of cleaning up to do in order to succeed in the NFL. The Rams would be putting themselves in a similar situation that they are already in with Brian Quick. If the Rams took Patterson they would not only have one raw talent, but two. The Rams need a guy that can step in day one and contribute, not another player who will take a year or two to develop and hope that he pans out to be a good player.

One thing that is concerning about Patterson is that he only had one game last season where he had over 100 yards receiving which was against Troy and he had 219 yards. You don’t see many top NFL players come out of Troy. When Tennessee played Alabama, Patterson was basically non-existent. He only had one reception for 25 yards. That should be a red flag because there was a lot of NFL talent on that Alabama team. Patterson was also almost non-existent against South Carolina and Georgia. Patterson did have respectable numbers against Florida however. He had 8 receptions for 75 yards in that game. If Patterson struggled against teams with NFL talent, how is he supposed to translate his talent to the NFL where the players are bigger, faster, and stronger?

The other obvious risk with Patterson is that he is such a raw talent and he only has the one year of playing top level college football. Patterson catches too much with his body, and during college he wasn’t asked to catch a lot of “jump balls”.  Patterson is also an inconsistent blocker. These things can be fixed, but if Patterson cant be cleaned up, he could easily go down the road of becoming a “bust”. It is a lot more appealing to take a player like Tavon Austin, Keenan Allen, Justin Hunter, DeAndre Hopkins, or Robert Woods who aren’t as raw and can step in right away.

In reality Patterson may not become a bust, but he is a lot more likely that some of the other players that are projected to go in the first round. Patterson is a high risk high reward player that if he pans out ok he will do great things for your team, but if he doesn’t the team will be hearing about it for years. The Rams have an opportunity to make something great having four first round draft picks in the next two years. It is essential that they get them right, so it makes more sense for them to take a safer bet and pass on Patterson. Nobody ever knows what a player is going to do once they get to the NFL. They could become the next Peyton Manning, Arian Foster, or the next JaMarcus Russell, it’s only a matter of time before we find out.


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  • Nathan Kearns

    ” …he is such a raw talent and he only has the one year of playing top level college football.”

    “…during college he wasn’t asked to catch a lot of “jump balls.”

    “…is also an inconsistent blocker.”

    “…catches too much with his body…”

    Interesting that these are the major marks against Cordarrelle Patterson, considering they all could easily apply to several of the other prospects mentioned as less likely to become a “bust.” Specifically, you could tag most, if not all, of these exact same weaknesses on Tavon Austin, Patterson’s likely competition in the first round.

    Austin might not be considered “raw,” but he has less experience against “top level” talent then Patterson did playing the SEC, despite playing 4-years at West Virginia. Yea, the 2012 schedule had some games high profile games, like Texas and Oklahoma, but Austin will likely never played against a corner he will meet up with again at the next level.

    Talk about not going up for jump balls, try not going for any sort of contested pass, especially on the outside. The most Tavon Austin did as a downfield receiver was hope that Geno Smith put enough air under that ball so he wouldn’t have to slow down…

    Blocking? Inconsistent as a blocker is something that Austin should strive for at the next level. His 5’8, 178 lbs. frame will be nothing more than a minor annoyence between the tackler and ball carrier.

    Last but not least,Austin has midget-sized hands, which will make catching an NFL football ever more difficult. Austin was also consistently docked by scouts for making “double-catches” and looking to turn the ball up the field before pulling in the catch. He also made a living working his way from east-to-west with the football in his hands, which will get snuffed out REAL QUICK at the next level; and, dancing with the football is a good way to get that tiny body wrecked by a cornerback or linebacker barreling towards the play.

    There is a reason that Cordarrelle Patterson is at the top of most people wide receiver boards, including Mike Mayock.

    On the other hand, if there are concerns about durability and “readiness,” a pick like Allen or Hopkins might make more sense for the team, assuming they fall to the right spot. However, the St. Louis Rams are made tons of “safe” picks with tons of production at the college level, Austin Pettis, Greg Salas, Mardy Gilyard…. the list goes on and on and on. Its about time they branched out of their comfort zone and took one of the most freakish athletes in the draft… Patterson; who fills an immediate need on the outside!

    Good article!

    • Dave

      I actually really admire your passion for players nathan. Your opinions on Austin and Patterson are actually convincing, but then again they’re only ‘opinions ‘ not facts. And the only ‘fact’ you laid out on the table was that Austin had ‘midget-sized hands’, this description made me laugh, but whats even funnier, is that Patterson has even smaller sized hands. Austin 9 1/8 inches —- Patterson 9 inches.