Cordarrelle Patterson Scouting Report: NFL Outlook for Tennessee WR

Ryan Lownes@@ryanlownesFeatured ColumnistApril 11, 2013

KNOXVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 20:  Cordarrelle Patterson #84 of the Tennessee Volunteers pulls in this reception against Robert Lester #37 of the Alabama Crimson Tide at Neyland Stadium on October 20, 2012 in Knoxville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Cordarrelle Patterson

Minnesota Vikings (via New England Patriots for 52nd, 83rd, 102nd and 229th picks)

First Round: 29th Pick

Much like the rest of this draft class, opinions on the top ranked wide receivers vary. 

Incredibly, in only one season at the BCS level, Cordarrelle Patterson played well enough to thrust his name to the forefront of the debate. Many evaluators, however, see him as too raw to make an immediate impact.

So has Patterson done enough to warrant this hype? Can he emerge as a primary target for an NFLquarterback? I will explore those questions and more in my scouting report of the former Junior College standout.

+ Electric with the ball in his hands - Inconsistent hands, too many drops
+ Game-breaking speed - Raw, unrefined route runner
+ Prototypical size at 6’3”, 205 lbs.
- Limited technique as a blocker
+ Unlimited upside


From a physical standpoint, Cordarrelle Patterson is a rare specimen.

Listed at 6’3”, 205 pounds, he has been blessed with an uncommon blend of size, track speed and agility.

For his size, Patterson changes speeds and direction incredibly well. He makes dynamic cuts that showcase tremendous acceleration, putting his foot in the ground and exploding upfield.


After playing one season at Tennessee, Cordarrelle Patterson hopes to follow in the footsteps of Chad Johnson and Steve Smith from JUCO to NFL stardom.

In addition to exhibiting the requisite confidence on the field, Patterson seems to be personable off the field. There is no reason to believe he would be anything less than an asset to an NFL locker room.


With rifle-armed Tyler Bray at the helm in Tennessee, coach Derek Dooley ran a vertical offense in which the ball was pushed down the field. The Volunteers operated primarily out of shotgun, but also frequently ran plays from under-center. Incorporating some elements of a pro style offense, Patterson should not be completely blindsided by NFL concepts.


At Tennessee, Cordarrelle Patterson beat the jam consistently with quickness and acceleration. When coverage played off him, he made them pay by eating up cushion with long strides.

Like most college receivers, however, Patterson lacks polish and technique. Additionally, to win at the next level, he could stand to be more physical and improve his hand use.

Ball Skills

Cordarrelle Patterson continues to display athleticism when the ball is in the air, utilizing good body control to adjust to passes.

Patterson flashes the ability to attack and high-point the ball, catching the ball outside his frame. However, he appears inconsistent and is not the type of receiver that rips down contested balls in traffic.

One thing that impressed me as I continued to watch Patterson was his awareness near the sideline that allowed him to make several tough grabs and pick up extra yardage.



As a route runner, Cordarrelle Patterson is raw and unrefined. During his short stay at Tennessee, he ran a somewhat limited route tree. Still, acceleration and suddenness allowed him to create separation at every level.

While a bit wet behind the ears, Patterson has an undeniable upside. He may lack advanced technique, but he flashes deceptive ability by changing speeds and setting up defenders.


With several drops in his short Volunteers career, Cordarrelle Patterson’s hands have emerged as a concern for some.

Although he occasionally lets the ball get into his body too easily, I feel many exaggerate when labeling him as a “body-catcher.” Patterson shows the ability to pluck the ball out of the air and make plays away from his body.

Still, Patterson is inconsistent in this area. He may not be the type to rip down many contested balls in traffic and shows some lapses in concentration.

Run After Catch

Cordarrelle Patterson really jumps off the tape as soon as he has the ball in his hands. A true home run hitter, he is the epitome of an electric game-breaker after the catch.

In addition to possessing tremendous speed and acceleration, Patterson is incredibly elusive. With light feet, impressive agility, and good balance, he can be very slippery in the open field.

What separates Patterson from other comparable athletes is his creativity with the ball in his hands. He appears to see the field very well, displaying vision to find cutback lanes.


Cordarrelle Patterson usually gives a solid effort as blocker, but once again lacks refinement in his technique. While he seems to have the instincts and willingness to seal defenders, he rarely locks on and drives them downfield.

Future Role/Scheme Versatility

A versatile offensive weapon capable of lining up all over the formation, Cordarrelle Patterson possesses No. 1 potential due to size and athleticism.

In addition to wide receiver, he also projects as a dynamic return option and exciting gadget player. At Tennessee, Patterson was an all-purpose threat. As a junior, he averaged a whopping 28 yards per kick return and over 12 per carry.

While he learns the intricacies of the position, Cordarrelle Patterson’s electric ability with the ball will allow him to contribute early.

Round/Team matches

There’s certainly a wow factor to Cordarrelle Patterson due to his combination of size, speed and elusiveness.

Draft Projection: Top 20


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