By Joseph Gunther
Name: Cordarrelle Patterson – WR – #84
Weight: 205 lbs.
Hometown: Rock Hill, South Carolina
College: University of Tennessee
The Vikings felt so strongly about former Tennessee wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson that they traded four total picks––a second, third, fourth, and a seventh round draft pick––to move into the first round to snatch up Patterson.
As if the pressure wasn’t on Patterson after the trade, he decided to wear number 84, the number of one of the greatest wide receivers of the modern NFL era wore while he was with the Vikings––Randy Moss.
Patterson hasn’t always been under immense pressure, however he always finds ways to keep his name relevant with football coaches, scouts, and fans.
During high school, he wasn’t even sure if he wanted to continue playing football. In fact, he ultimately stepped off the field his senior year. In 2010 he enrolled at Hutchinson Community College in Hutchinson, Kansas, where he decided to pursue his football talents again. After being named a NJCAA All-American in 2010 and 2011, Patterson was ranked as a five-star prospect out of junior college and found himself swamped with scholarship offers from power house teams such as Auburn, Georgia, and others.
Deciding that the University of Tennessee was the best fit for him, he chose to play for the Volunteers. He sharpened his skills and helped Tennessee on the offensive end by rushing for 308 yards on 25 carries and recording three touchdowns. He also impressed NFL scouts, especially from the Vikings, by catching 46 passes for 778 yards and five touchdowns. Defenses everywhere couldn’t get a break from him, even on special teams. Patterson scored a touchdown on one of his four punt returns and totaled 671 yards over 25 kick returns, averaging 26.8 yards a return, and even scoring on a 98 yard return.
By the end of the 2012 NCAA football season, Cordarrelle Patterson was known to many NFL teams as a “sleeper.” Otherwise known as a potential valued starter, who will most likely end up falling in the draft due to his lack of experience against high caliber teams. That all changed during the NFL Combine.
A highly anticipated event, the NFL Combine throws a number of tests at NFL hopefuls to register official times of their speed, agility, acceleration and strength, among other various traits, that are vital to succeed at the top level. After running the 40-yard dash in a blazing speed of 4.42 seconds, scouts everywhere highlighted his name.
The Vikings made sure they were going to be the only team to offer him a contract.
Fast forward to the middle of training camp, where Viking fans are excited about their 2013 draft class, and why shouldn’t they be?
“What he brings to us is an explosive playmaker,” Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman said. “I couldn’t believe a guy with his size and this much speed made the type of movement and the type of elusiveness that he showed on the tape.”
Count ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper as one of the believers in Patterson’s superstar potential.
“Patterson is just an enormous talent,” Kiper said. “He’s got incredible athletic ability, he flashed out in a lot of games.”
“It wasn’t like starting from zero like we thought it might be,” Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier said. “That encourages all of us. Now take that with a grain of salt. We’ve got a lot more football to go, but we like what we see so far.”
Patterson will soon make sure that every Vikings fan will agree.
For more NFL player features, visit 32 Players, 32 Days.
Joseph Gunther is an avid fan of Minnesota sports, including football, hockey and baseball. He covered a wide variety of sports while attending Hastings College in Hastings, Neb. While at Hastings College, he was a part of the first collegiate media group to broadcast a national tournament via television, radio, internet and newspaper at the 2004 NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball Tournament. He grew up in the Twin Cities playing three years of varsity football in high school. His work can be found on Examiner.com.