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.