As a Vols fan, it was nice seeing a former player go in the first round of the NFL Draft after another abysmal year.
However, that doesn't mean the pick will work out.
When the Vikings took Cordarrelle Patterson 29th overall, it seemed like a good move until they revealed what was given up: a second, third, fourth and seventh round pick.
That's basically the Vikings' entire draft!
The Vikings selected Patterson because of his elite athleticism. That alone is worth the gamble, but he is also extremely raw and only played in D-1 football for one season.
There are also concerns about Patterson's ability to learn a playbook and run the proper routes.
While I expect him to have an impact in the return game immediately, you don't take a player in the first round with those intentions. I feel they could've waited until the second round to get him, but then again, I have no clue what goes on in those war rooms.
Cordarrelle Patterson will bust in Minnesota because of these three reasons:
Patterson was explosive at Tennessee and in his JuCo days, but struggled a lot when it came to running routes and taking on tough defenders. His lack of experience against top-level talent was one reason why.
Patterson made people look stupid in JuCo and at times in Tennessee, but when he went against the elite defenders his inability to gain separation off the snap and read zone coverages showed.
He can get frustrated very easily too when he is contained and that was evident in the 41-18 loss at Vanderbilt. There were several times when Patterson was seen jawing and pushing opposing players after plays due to them shutting him down.
Patterson possesses deep speed, but in the NFL you have to be able to make the tough catches as well if you want to succeed.
Patterson isn't very good at going across the middle and dropped the ball a lot of times on timing routes. He has to learn to get out of his breaks better.
He is effective in wide receiver screens, but those plays rarely work in the NFL.
He will be mostly a vertical threat in his first year or two, but if he wants to have long-term success he will eventually have to learn to go across the middle.
To say he improved last season is a little bit of a stretch considering he only caught 10 passes for 127 yards and one score during a five-game span.
Lack of a Quarterback
Now this isn't solely on Patterson, but it will have a major impact on him. After playing with Tyler Bray for a season, he knows all about inconsistency.
Now it's time to meet Christian Ponder.
Ponder's inability to remain accurate will leave many lapses between Patterson and his potential. To say the two will never click is going a little too far, but I don't see Ponder being the guy in Minnesota.
I think Patterson will have a Devin Hester-type career where he makes some big plays as a receiver, but is more a threat in the return game. He is too athletic to not last in the NFL for a few years.
But does that warrant a first round pick? No.