Written by Wesley Wood
As most of you here on DFW know, Cordarrelle Patterson is beloved by pretty much everyone. But why? There is so much not to like about him that I cannot personally consider him a top half rookie pick, let alone the 1.01 or 1.02.
Right off the bat let’s focus on how Patterson just isn’t productive as a WR. He has only one game in 2012 where he tops 100 yards and it is against Troy who isn’t exactly a defensive juggernaut. I noticed a trend with Patterson. Through the first three weeks of the season he was fairly productive while teams were figuring him out. Through the first three games he had 17 receptions, 239 yards, and 2 TD’s. Respectable numbers for someone who just entered division 1 ball. Then it happened, teams figured out how to slow down Patterson as a receiver. He had trouble getting separation and sometimes just plain dropped the ball.
His stats over the next five games dipped down to only 10 receptions, 127 yards, and only 1 TD. This was against teams like Akron, Georgia, Mississippi State, Alabama, and South Carolina. Ignoring the possibility that a majority of the teams were from the SEC where the best defenses are and that fact the Justin Hunter was still productive against them with the same QB on the same team. What else could be the issue? I noticed he was having issue getting separation from defenders which is weird from someone who has been praised for how elusive and fast he is. Scouts have also said how he has trouble retaining information, as well as with inconsistently running routes with desire and accuracy. He has issues getting off the line quickly with a clean release, sometimes lacks focus (such as dropping an easy TD against Georgia), clearly coasting and not trying sometimes, does not work hard in preparation, does not pay attention to detail, and his blocking is inconsistent. Also after the difficult part of Tennessee’s schedule and his one good game against Troy, he went back to being productive snatching 10 receptions for 193 yards and 1 TD.
What can be said for him? Well he is good at returning kicks like a Devin Hester or Josh Cribbs and is great on end arounds like Dexter McCluster. Those two players are not fantasy starters by any means. Maybe his team was just bad and they couldn’t get him the ball? If that is the case then why was Justin Hunter so much more productive with the same QB playing the same amount of games. Let us do a quick stat comparison.
Games 1-3 Cordarrelle Patterson 17 receptions/ 239 yards/ 2 TD’s
Justin Hunter 22 receptions/ 295 yards/ 3 TD’s
Games 4-8 Cordarrelle Patterson 10 receptions/ 127 yards/ 1 TD
Justin Hunter 25 receptions/ 362 yards/ 1 TD
Troy Game Cordarelle Patterson 9 receptions/ 219 yards/ 1 TD
Justin Hunter 9 receptions/ 181 yards/ 3 TD’s
Games 10-12 Cordarelle Patterson 10 receptions/ 193 yards/ 1 TD
Justin Hunter 17 yards/ 245 yards/ 2 TD’s
So as we can see, Patterson had all the opportunity to surpass fellow receiver Justin Hunter as a WR better never did so. Cordarrelle is just so raw that it will take 2 or 3 years to develop him as a legit WR. That does not sound like a receiver that should be the first off the board to me. Tavon Austin does everything Patterson does except better and with more production. Just watch them both on tape and notice how Tavon is always getting himself open and making plays. Tavon got 114 receptions, 1289 yards, and 12 TD’s while Patterson only got 46 receptions, 778 yards, an 5 TD’s. But what about hand-offs and the running game? Patterson is so good at those that surely he must have been more productive! Well Cordarrelle got a respectable 25 rushes, 308 yards, and 3 TD’s. That is pretty good and surely has to be better than Tavon Austin who is being drafted later than Patterson despite being a more polished receiver. Tavon only acquired 72 rushes, 643 yards, and 3 TD’s.
I am not saying Cordarrelle isn’t worth a 1st round pick, I am saying he shouldn’t be drafted in the top half of the 1st round where the bad teams that need players to contribute immediately are picking. Patterson needs to be falling to the 1.08 – 1.12 draft slot where he can sit on a team’s bench that is already a contender and has the luxury of letting someone as raw as Patterson develop. Cordarrelle has all the makings of a bust and I know if I am picking in the top half of the 1st round that I want someone who can contribute right away and has a far lesser chance of being a bust.
What do you think? Let me know below in the comments.