The Minnesota Vikings gave up four picks in the 2013 NFL Draft to trade back into the first round and select Cordarrelle Patterson from the University of Tennessee. Obviously, the Vikings believe in the talent of Patterson.
Going in to the draft, Patterson was rated by many as the second best wide receiver in the draft behind Tavon Austin. He was known as a very high-risk, high-reward type of talent. He only played one season at Tennessee after two years in JUCO. His statistics at Tennessee were not all that impressive, but he flashed elite talent at times. The Vikings decided to take a shot on that talent and I think it was a very good choice.
I could see Patterson winning the Offensive Rookie of the Year award this season if he reaches his potential. Let’s be honest; there is not a lot of offensive skill position talent in this 2013 rookie class. There was not a running back taken in the first round, and only one quarterback was taken in the first. Patterson will certainly get the opportunity to get on the field early with the Vikings, as the only proven receiver they have is Greg Jennings.
Patterson has elite talent, but he is risky. I think there is a decent chance he is not ready for the NFL game and does not perform this season. That being said, with his good size (6’2, 216), leaping ability and solid speed, I think Patterson’s athletic ability could overcome any other parts of his game that are currently underdeveloped. I understand the risk with this prospect, but if it all comes together for him in his rookie year, watch out.