Cordarrelle Patterson – WR – Minnesota Vikings
2nd Year – 6’3”, 205 lbs
2013 Stats - Receiving: 45-469 Yards, 4 TD’s /Rushing: 12-158 Yards, 3 TD’s
Pluses – Cordarrelle Patterson is absurdly fast with the ball in his hands. In addition to the offensive production he amassed in 2013, he also was prolific on kickoff returns averaging 32.4 yards per return and taking two back for touchdowns. He has incredibly natural instincts in the open field as he is able to see where the seam is going to be before it’s actually there. Patterson is extremely versatile. Offensive coordinators can use him in a variety of ways including out of the backfield or in wildcat formations. Patterson is tall, athletic and looks the part of an elite level wide receiver. His leaping ability could become a real asset in the red zone someday soon. He made a lot of progress as a wide receiver late last season and by the end was a legitimate threat to the defense every time he was on the field. Patterson shows a strong desire to play football and to get better. The Vikings coaching staff were very pleased with his attitude and work ethic in 2013 despite the Vikings season going down the drain early.
Minuses – He is still quite raw in the receiving department. Patterson is what they call a “body catcher” meaning he lets the ball get into his body before securing it which is a huge problem at the NFL level. Ideally WR’s will have strong hands that can pluck the ball away from defenders and allow the QB to not have to be pinpoint on every pass attempt. This also is the problem with him using his leaping ability to make plays over defenders. He isn’t secure enough or strong enough in his hands to be able to make those plays. His upside will always be limited until he becomes better with his hands. Ball security will also be an issue with him because of a leaner upper body and a lack of ball carrying technique. This is something that Norv Turner will work with him on during the offseason and training camp I am sure. Because of his electrifying speed and open field awareness yet thin frame there will always be a higher risk of injury with Patterson too. He needs to add some bulk which may slow him down a bit but also will keep him healthy.
Summary – It appears as though Cordarrelle Patterson is on everybody’s sleeper list this year which technically doesn’t make him a sleeper anymore. We all saw what he can do with the ball in his hands and understand that the Vikings new coaching staff has got to make that a priority in 2014. The problem is that Patterson isn’t a great route runner and doesn’t make high level catches. Thus, he needs the scheme to allow him to get open and make catches while in stride. This is not an easy plan to execute and definitely not a typical feature of a Norv Turner offense. But, there is no doubt that we’ll see all sorts of formations with Patterson lined up anywhere from under center to out wide. They will use a bunch of reverses with Adrian Peterson going one way and dishing to Patterson flying around the other end. That is a scary thought for a defense. From a fantasy point of view though, Patterson is not going to be an every week producer. He’s going to put up some big weeks and also have some complete duds as well. Thus you really cannot count on him to be anything other than a WR3 in 2014.
Receiving: 14 Games, 63-932 Yards, 6 TD’s
Rushing: 14 Games, 25-330 Yards, 2 TD’s