Being a ground-attack kind of team, the chances of Cordarrelle Patterson becoming a huge impact for the Minnesota Vikings on his rookie year weren’t too great, as the team is planning to slowly integrate him into their system.
A first round pick (29th overall) usually expected to be a lot more meaningful to a team that just another guy on the depth chart, but the Vikings don’t feel there’s any need to rush anything, despite not exactly being loaded at wide receiver, not to mention being slightly unsure about the ability of their quarterback, Christian Ponder, to rise above the continuing inconsistency and mediocrity they’ve seen from his so far.
We don’t want give him too much early. We want to make sure we do enough to get him on the field and really go to his strengths. There are some things that we have in mind. But everything that I’ve seen, we’ll be able to utilize his talents. He’s a gifted young man.
According to the Star Tribune, Patterson will be the #3 receiver behind Greg Jennings and Jerome Simpson, but will also get his chances through kickoff returns. He has been working as the split end during the OTAs, but once he feels a little more comfortable with everything around him, he’ll start being tested out in different spots on the attack.
Is it going to be a big first season for Patterson? Probably not. He’s a unique athlete with his speed and ability to get off the ground, but his inexperience (only one season at Tennessee) is evident in his ball drops, catching the ball with his chest and mediocre route running at best.
Patterson might become a productive wide receiver in the near future, but it’s probably going to take a lot of work and player development this season to get him there.