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Thread: Tennessee's Cordarrelle Patterson has plenty of talent and question marks

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    Tennessee's Cordarrelle Patterson has plenty of talent and question marks

    Tennessee's Cordarrelle Patterson has plenty of talent and question marks
    By Bob McGinn of the Journal Sentinel
    April 17, 2013

    Green Bay - Good luck to the National Football League coaching staff and quarterback that expect Tennessee wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson to play well from scrimmage as a rookie.

    In fact, many of the red flags that portend B-U-S-T will accompany Patterson when he's brought to the Radio City Music Hall stage April 25 after his name is called in the first round of the draft.

    Patterson, a strapping 6 feet 2 inches and 217 pounds, is the most dynamic big man in the draft - at least when he has the ball under his arm. West Virginia's Tavon Austin (5-8 , 173), the other leading wide receiver, is the most electrifying little man.

    Each year, the game on offense is being called more at the line. In turn, defensive coordinators live and die on their ability to confuse passers and receivers.

    The last-second adjustments have placed additional burden on wide receiver, a position that wasn't always associated with mental acuity.

    "When you look at the skill positions, the receivers usually take the longest to acclimate," said Howie Roseman, general manager of the Philadelphia Eagles. "Because they're not seeing a lot of press coverage in college football. Then they've got to pick up offenses that sometimes are more complex than they're used to in college."

    C.O. Brocato of the Tennessee Titans, the grand old man of NFL scouting, said IQ is a vital part of the wide-receiver equation.

    "They say it's not but I think it is," Brocato said. "They say just put a guy out there with speed and let him go. Where is he going to go? If he can't learn, how is he going to play?"

    Therein lies the rub, particularly with Patterson. In the last two weeks, scouts from 10 teams expressed varying degrees of reservation whether he'll be up to the coming challenge.

    "Mentally, it's going to be a project," one personnel man said. "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."

    According to several teams, Patterson wasn't impressive during interviews at the combine. He also scored 11 on the 50-question Wonderlic intelligence test, which caused more consternation.

    "You're not expecting receivers to be in the 30s," an AFC personnel director said. "But you've got to have some type of intelligence to pick up the system.

    "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."

    Austin's test score was even lower at 7, but the majority of scouts expect him to learn a playbook without a major hitch.

    "He's not a quick study and it will take him a little time," another personnel director said. "He will work at it. He cares greatly about it."

    Justin Hunter, Patterson's teammate, scored just 12, but scouts consider him less of a risk mentally.

    Patterson's journey to this point was unconventional, to say the least.

    After spending time at two junior colleges and playing the 2010 and '11 seasons at Hutchinson (Kan.) College, Patterson was admitted to Tennessee in July. Six months later, he was declaring for the draft a year early.

    It's difficult to find JUCO wide receivers that spent just one season at a major college before entering the draft. One was Robert Ferguson, a junior-college player who spent six months at Texas A&M before being drafted in the second round by the Green Bay Packers in 2001.

    As a rookie, Ferguson had no idea what it took to be a pro and was inactive for 17 of 18 games. In nine seasons, he caught 151 passes.

    Of the Packers' six No. 1 wideouts in their West Coast era (Sterling Sharpe, Robert Brooks, Antonio Freeman, Donald Driver, Javon Walker and Greg Jennings), the only one to flourish as a rookie was Jennings.

    Sharpe dropped eight passes and didn't score a touchdown until Game 14. Brooks had several key drops and lost confidence. Freeman made eight receptions, and Driver made three. Walker kept blowing assignments and dropped nine.

    "There's a huge correlation between experience playing the position in college and success in the NFL," one scout said. "Intelligence and work ethic are probably the two most important qualities because it's extremely tough."

    Over the past decade, 10 wide receivers that declared at least a year early and were drafted in the first two rounds can be categorized as busts.

    With their Wonderlic scores, they are Jon Baldwin (14), Darrius Heyward-Bey (14), Devin Thomas (23), Malcolm Kelly (22), James Hardy (14), Dwayne Jarrett (14), Chad Jackson (15), Troy Williamson (21), Reggie Williams (17) and Charles Rogers (10).

    Meanwhile, intelligence is deemed a plus for Keenan Allen (19) and Robert Woods (23), the next-best receivers behind Patterson and Austin.

    "Allen and Woods just know how to play," an NFC personnel director said. "You throw them in, they're going to run the right route, get open and catch the ball.

    "You can run fast 40s and be this and that, but if you don't know how to play it just kind of goes out the window."

    The Journal Sentinel asked 16 personnel people to list their top five wide receivers and top four tight ends. At wide receiver, a first-place vote was worth five points, a second was worth four and so on.

    Patterson (seven firsts) led with 62 points, followed by Austin, 60 (six firsts); Allen, 40 (one first); Woods, 25; DeAndre Hopkins, 24 (one first); Hunter, 16; Terrance Williams, five; and Stedman Bailey and Quinton Patton, each four.

    At tight end, Tyler Eifert led the way with 63 points (15 firsts), followed by Zach Ertz, 40 (one first); Gavin Escobar, 22; Travis Kelce, 14; Vance McDonald and Jordan Reed, eight; Nick Kasa and Mychal Rivera, two; and Chris Gragg, one.


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    Re: Tennessee's Cordarrelle Patterson has plenty of talent and question marks

    Lot of information in there (I read it earlier, before you posted it). Patterson's interviews are more bothersome than his Wonderlic. As was said in another thread, a player could have dyslexia, a test taking problem or another learning disability which could cause the Wonderlic to be ignored completely with confidence. Interviews though are a different problem.

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    Re: Tennessee's Cordarrelle Patterson has plenty of talent and question marks

    "Because they're not seeing a lot of press coverage in college football. Then they've got to pick up offenses that sometimes are more complex than they're used to in college."

    A.J. Green scored a 10. How fast did he start?

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    Re: Tennessee's Cordarrelle Patterson has plenty of talent and question marks

    So much for Wonderlic score being confidential.

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    Re: Tennessee's Cordarrelle Patterson has plenty of talent and question marks

    It's funny how this stuff always gets out right before the draft.

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    Re: Tennessee's Cordarrelle Patterson has plenty of talent and question marks

    For those who think its important, I can assure you of two things:

    1. I could score a 50 on the Wonderlic easily;
    2. At no point in my life have I been worth even a (under the old system) 12th round draft pick.

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    Re: Tennessee's Cordarrelle Patterson has plenty of talent and question marks

    Alright. It's settled then: Keenan Allen!
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    Re: Tennessee's Cordarrelle Patterson has plenty of talent and question marks

    is the Wonderlic anything like an IQ test?

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    Re: Tennessee's Cordarrelle Patterson has plenty of talent and question marks

    Quote Originally Posted by eric2810 View Post
    is the Wonderlic anything like an IQ test?
    "Johnny can run around the block in 45 seconds. If Johnny spent 3 minutes and 20 seconds running, how many times did he go around the block?"


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    Re: Tennessee's Cordarrelle Patterson has plenty of talent and question marks

    Quote Originally Posted by sosa39rams View Post
    "Johnny can run around the block in 45 seconds. If Johnny spent 3 minutes and 20 seconds running, how many times did he go around the block?"
    So... you're saying that there is 3:20 left in the game, and Johnny is blocking on a running play...

    Wait... what?
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    Re: Tennessee's Cordarrelle Patterson has plenty of talent and question marks

    This has to be one of the dumbest articles I've ever read. Either the author is a moron, or the people who evaluate talent at the NFL level are, or maybe it's both.

    First, they practically call him a retard after scoring an 11 on the Wonderlic and not doing well on interviews. 10 scouts imply he's not up to the challenge and the author implies he might be a bust even before he gets drafted.

    Tavon Austin, on the other hand, scores a 7, yet it's "assumed" he will have no trouble learning a playbook.

    It appears that Patterson does not know how to run routes or make in-game adjustments. Yet when polled, NFL personnel men ranked him the #1 receiver in the draft. Huh????

    How is he the best receiver in the draft if he can't run a route and is as dumb as a rock?

    WOW. No wonder it's so hard to be successful at drafting and evaluating talent. It appears the people that are involved in it are idiots.
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    Re: Tennessee's Cordarrelle Patterson has plenty of talent and question marks

    In contrast to the previous post, I found the article to be interesting. Not because it definitively says Patterson is unable to grasp the game, but because if offers evidence that drafting a WR is more than having good hands and out running CB's. Admittedly I'm a bit biased because the 2 WR's I like the most in the draft are K. Allen and R. Woods, because they appear to be more pro-ready than the others mentioned. We just experienced a full season of Brian Quick not contributing much because of his "rawness", I'd prefer to avoid that again and get a WR who can make an impact sooner so we get to the playoffs.

    Good post Nick.

    Go Rams!

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