As most of you know I am a big fan of Cordarrelle Patterson. I've been hoping for months that we might be able to get him in the 2nd round because he was so raw and inexperienced. That now appears highly unlikely, so I'm on board with drafting him at #12 overall if he is the best player available.
His physical ability is breathtaking. He has phenominal burst, change of direction, vision, ability to set up his blocks, patience to use his blocks, and nose for the goal line. He has many other good traits like size (6'3 and 205 lbs.), speed (I'd guess around 4.45 in the 40), quickness, catching technique, and blocking downfield.
But, he is very raw. He is very undeveloped in important skills such as route running. He doesn't run the full route tree, so even knowledge is an area of weakness. He needs to work on his timing. His routes are not precise (always the same) nor accurate (exactly where the play and situation dictate). He doesn't have command of the offensive plays enough to properly read the defense and situation and make the correct hot-read. In sum, he is a lot like Victor Cruz was ... great when the ball arrives and after the catch, but hard for a QB to know exactly where he will be or to count on being where he should be.
In most cases, these things can be taught, but not always. Coaches often look for a player doing it the right way. Some think that if they can do it the right way once, the coach can get that out of them consistently with coaching. Sometimes that works, and other times it gets the coach and GM fired. Which will Cordarrelle Patterson be?
I believe that Patterson was very raw coming from 2 years of junior college, but he learned humility and hard work. Only upon arriving at Tennessee did he really evolve from the greatest physical talent on the field every game into the beginnings of a wide receiver. I think he will develop into a very good WR in the NFL. But, if he doesn't, it will be because he doesn't become a polished receiver, not because he lacks the tools.
Below are two videos. One shows you the electric highlights of Cordarrelle Patterson, the dynamic WR and KR/PR for the less than 1 full season he spent at the University of Tennessee. The other one shows you another great prospect's highlights in college, which include more KR/PR and some WR over his entire career at another major university.
Cordarrelle Patterson, 6'3, 205 lbs., approximately 4.45 in the 40. Highlights of less than 1 full year at "receiver U" the University of Tennessee
Other prospect, 6'1, 200 lbs., 4.3 in the 40. Career highlights of multiple years at a major football university.
Watch both videos. The "other prospect" played longer at the collegiate level but had far less highlights as a WR compared to a returner. Speed and running ability were never questioned for either prospect, but polish as WR's and their route running were. Let me know what you think about Cordarrelle Patterson and how risky he is or isn't.