Patterson played just one season at the D-I level before declaring for this year’s NFL draft, and some teams are worried about his ability to pick up NFL offenses, according to Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
“Mentally, it’s going to be a project,” one personnel man told McGinn. “Running routes, he doesn’t know how to do any of that stuff. You may have to keep it simple for him, but this is football. It’s not building a super glider or anything.”
Patterson’s great size (6-foot-2), blazing speed (4.42-second 40-yard dash) and incredible athleticism make him an intriguing prospect, no doubt. But he caught just 46 passes and five touchdowns during his lone season with the Volunteers and saw fewer targets as the season wore on, which raises concerns about his knowledge of Tennessee’s offensive system.
“You’ve got to have some type of intelligence to pick up the system,” another personnel director told McGinn. “Toward the end of the year, they started to go away from running Patterson down the field on routes and gave him the ball on reverses and screens, even as a halfback at times. That starts to put a question mark in your head. Why?
“Well, there’s reasons, and it’s just not being as proficient with his route-running and not having the ability to make adjustments during the game.”
Patterson is projected as a mid-to-high first-round pick, but all the questions about his aptitude may see him drop deep in the first or even into the second round.
Photo via Facebook/Cordarrelle Patterson