STRENGTHS - Patterson has ideal height, weight and length for the WR position. He flashes dangerous top end speed and pairs it with excellent quickness, agility and balance. He is an elusive athlete in space that sets up blockers well and is capable of creating consistent separation with his natural athleticism. He does an excellent job of winning the ball in traffic, and also displays the power and toughness to break tackles. His open field running skills make him a dangerous weapon on reverses and returns as well.
WEAKNESSES - Patterson is not a consistent route runner must learn to better use his hands to protect his frame and create separation. Because he is too passive against press coverage he is too easily rerouted and is not precise in his route running. He does not consistently run routes at full speed and often telegraphs his movements to his defender. When his man jumps his break he often gives up and does not complete his route. He seems to lose focus at times and drops too many easy balls. He did not give consistent effort when asked to block and has very little experience at this skill. Most concerning is that for a player who had such an incredible 2012 season, his 2011 season was significantly less productive in his first year at Tennessee, which makes me wonder if he needs extra time/reps to become comfortable and productive in a new offense. If this is the case it will likely take him more time than most to adjust to the even more complicated playbooks of the NFL.
SUMMARY - Cordarelle Patterson will be one of the most hotly debated prospects this year in NFL war rooms as he possesses an elite combination of size and explosive play-making ability, but is extremely raw in nearly all facets of his game. His QAB, instincts in the open field and breakaway speed make him a constant threat to take it the distance, but he must significantly improve his route running. He does not use his hands well against press coverage and be more consistent in terms of running precise routes at full speed. He also has very little experience as a blocker, and drops too many easy balls to be considered a reliable every-down receiver at this stage. He is likely to be immediately inserted as a returner, but he likely won't see the field consistently on offense as a rookie as he will need to greatly improve upon his route running, blocking and focus. Scouts are certain to fall in love with his massive upside, but any team willing to take him in the high first round will be taking a huge risk because of the numerous inconsistencies and weaknesses in his game.