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There are two wide receivers that I believe fit the bill of game-changer that the new head coach Doug Marrone is looking for—Cordarrelle Patterson and DeAndre Hopkins.
Hopkins is not the best receiver in the draft, but he is big and catches every ball thrown within a fairly large radius of him. Unfortunately for Buffalo, Hopkins does not fit the value at pick No. 8, and they will likely miss out on him if they wait until the second round.
Patterson has steadily climbed up draft boards since the middle of the season and seems to be the consensus top receiver in the draft, taking over the spot formerly held by Keenan Allen. It may be worrisome that Patterson did not burst onto the scene for the Vols until this season and jumped from school to school before landing at Tennessee.
Da'Rick Rogers and Justin Hunter were Tyler Bray's prime targets in 2011, but a dismissal of Rogers paved the way for Patterson to become a bigger name.
He certainly proved worthy.
Patterson caught 46 passes for 776 yards and five touchdowns during his junior season, while making difficult plays look rather easy during the SEC conference-slate. A lesser talked about fact was Patterson's duel-function use in the run game.
He rushed the ball 25 times for 308 yards and three touchdowns, displaying superior athleticism with the ball in his hands.
No one is comparing Patterson to Percy Harvin, but a mixture of great hands and separation skills could make him a sneaky-good pick in the first round.