Well, yes, of course, if he’s there at No. 12, especially with the Dolphins’ much-reported desire to add playmakers this offseason. But do you take a receiver in the first round if a player of Johnson or Green’s caliber isn’t available? While a bevy of early mock drafts have Miami taking either Tennessee’s Cordarrelle Patterson or Cal’s Keenan Allen, they cite the projection is based on necessity, not necessarily ability.
After an intensive film study on Patterson, though, Rotoworld’s Evan Silva feels that it won’t be a question of whether there is a receiver worthy of being selected in the top half of the first round; it’s whether he’ll be there for the Dolphins to take, an opinion that may grow into a consensus before April’s draft.
“If you look at what Julio Jones had done at Alabama and you compare it to the season that Cordarrelle Patterson just had – I think that if you looked at both of those, you would say that Cordarrelle Patterson is a more talented wide receiver than Julio Jones looked to be coming out of Alabama.”
There are a handful of “yeah, buts” that are preventing Patterson from being compared to the likes of Jones, Green or Johnson.
Yeah, sure, he has impressive measurables — size, speed, strength — that were on display during his lone season at Tennessee, evaluators will say, but his receiving numbers severely underwhelmed. Another criticism: Patterson — who finished his only season at the Division-1 level with 46 receptions for 778 yards and five touchdowns — is too much of a body catcher who needs to use his hands more.
All valid concerns, especially for a team making a big investment. But, as Silva cautions, the numbers may not tell the whole story, as Tennessee endured a season in flux, with head coach Derek Dooley eventually fired at season’s end.
Patterson may have been miscast in Tennessee’s pro-style offense, too, playing the “X Iso” position and catching passes from the talented but erratic Tyler Bray.
“If you know all the factors that contributed to Cordarrelle Patterson not having insane receiving production and just look at his traits, isolating him away from the defense, just looking at what kind of football player he is, you will be very, very impressed,” Silva said. “I would be surprised if you would not say he absolutely should be a top-20, top-15 draft pick.”
Throwing aside any preconceived notions, Silva put on the tape, watching six of Patterson’s games from his junior season at Tennessee. What he saw impressed: Patterson, a 6-foot-3, 205-pound athlete, had breakaway speed and elusiveness to go with his imposing frame.
“I saw a special, special player — a special playmaker with incredible ability to make defenders miss in the open field, almost Percy Harvin-like.”
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