In a not-so-surprising move, Minnesota Vikings' general manager, Rick Spielman pulled some magic out of his hat again this year and was able to move back into the first round of the 2013 NFL draft. Like last year, the move gave the Vikings an additional pick, their third of the night.
After doubling down on defense with the 23rd and 25th picks, there were probably a lot of Minnesota fans frustrated that Spielman ignored the offense, which so desperately needed an upgrade at wide receiver.
Spielman traded four picks to New England—in the second, third, fourth and seventh rounds of this year's draft—in exchange for the 29th pick. That's an awful lot to give up for one pick.
With that pick the Vikings selected Cordarrelle Patterson from Tennessee. Patterson was the third wide receiver selected in the first round. Most rankings had Tavon Austin as the top receiver in the draft. The St. Louis Rams confirmed that when they made him the first receiver selected at No. 8 overall.
However, B/R's Matt Miller had Patterson ranked at the top of his list of wide receivers. He calls Patterson the receiver with the most potential in this year's draft.
Walter Football ranked Patterson second behind Austin, but ahead of his Tennessee teammate, Justin Hunter. What makes this ranking so interesting is that Patterson finished second last year to Hunter in receptions and yardage. Hunter had 76 catches for 1,083 yards and nine touchdowns while Patterson finished with only 46 catches for 778 yards and five touchdowns.
Dane Brugler of NFL Draft Scout, sees plenty of potential in Patterson with natural talent and good playmaking ability, but is very raw and will need some work.
His performance at the NFL Scouting Combine helped raise his stock in the draft. He ran a 4.42 in the 40-yard dash and his vertical of 37" was a top performance.
A junior college transfer, Patterson left Tennessee after playing only one season. Along with his 46 catches, he ran the ball 25 times for 308 yards and three touchdowns. He also demonstrated his versatility as a potential replacement for Percy Harvin. He returned 24 kickoffs for a 28-yard average and a touchdown, as well as four punts for 101 yards and another touchdown.
On the season, he had 1,858 all-purpose yards and 10 touchdowns. While he comes to the NFL in need to develop his route-running skills, his raw talent will be enough to make immediate contributions anywhere on the field.
At 6'2" and 216 pounds, he brings more size to the position. As weak as the Vikings are at receiver, Patterson will rise to the top and should be starting along with former Packer Greg Jennings.
However, look for head coach Leslie Frazier to open training camp with Patterson down on the depth chart, making the rookie earn his way to the top. With the competition consisting of Jerome Simpson, Stephen Burton and Jarius Wright, odds are in his favor to get plenty of playing time.