After having been taken with the 128th overall pick in the fourth round by the San Francisco 49ers, Quinton Patton has been in the news more for his eagerness and readiness to get to work as opposed to what he has done on the field as a first team all-WAC wide receiver at Louisiana Tech. Yet, his off-field actions have been the reason why Patton has excited and impressed those within the 49ers organization and why there is a good chance he will have an opportunity to be a significant contributor during the 2013 season.
The story about how Patton booked a flight from Nashville to San Francisco to begin working and training at the 49ers’ training facilities outside of the time window that draftees have to visit the team’s facilities after they have been drafted has made the rounds. So much so that it caught the attention of coach Jim Harbaugh in a very positive way. Fast forward to this past weekend when Patton almost missed an opportunity to continue to impress after misplacing his driver’s license before finding it and making it out in time to participate fully in this weekend’s rookie mini-camp.
Just as his attitude and desire off-field impressed Harbaugh and members of the organization, this week’s work on the practice field continued as Patton put in a good three days of work. Combine that with the production he had as a player at LA Tech and it bodes well for his prospects to be an immediate contributor in his rookie season.
As we now take what Patton has shown off the practice field and this weekend on the field, it is clear that he is impressing and catching the eye of the coaches. This enhances his chances of being an immediate contributor for the 49ers to begin the 2013 season. Patton is in a situation where he could conceivably be the third wide receiver on the depth chart given that those who could be ahead of him on the depth chart in Mario Manningham and Kyle Williams will be making their way back from knee ligament injuries and last year’s first round pick AJ Jenkins has failed to impress at all, barely having seen playing time during the 2012 season. Aside from seeing time as the third or fourth wide receiver, Patton can and will have a chance to be a contributor as either a punt or kick returner, a spot left to fill with the departure of Ted Ginn Jr. As long as Quinton Patton keeps impressing the coaches in the manner he has with his off-field and on-field work ethic, he will give himself an opportunity to be a valuable contributor for the 2013 season.
Lucas Carreras is a contributing San Francisco 49ers writer and contributing writer for Rant Sports. You can follow Lucas on Twitter by following him at maldini3fan and you can connect with him on Google+.