Quinton Patton is a tough, competitive receiver with adequate measurables and a tremendous feel for the receiver position.
This Louisiana Tech product earned second-team All-American honors after recording over 1,300 yards receiving and 13 touchdowns. As a junior college transfer, Patton has only played two years of Division I football but has made the most of every opportunity. Clearly, he knows how to carry the pressures of being a primary target and has consistently proven his ability to get open despite opponents’ consistent attempts to key in on him.
Patton lacks any of the elite physical tools NFL teams drool over, which helps explain his slide into Round 4. Patton has the intangibles to be much better than many realize considering his intense competitive drive, which really shows up in how he usually wins against 50/50 balls, which are balls thrown up for grabs between the defender and the receiver.
This kid should be able to sustain a decent pro career but has significant limitations worth noting. He will never be the guy who dominates with strength or speed. He’ll have to find his niche more so as a competitive tactician and student of the game.
Ultimately, the determining factor in Patton’s career success will be predicated upon how hard he is willing to work. This will be the element in his game that can allow him to stand out and really thrive among the best of the best.
Though the 49ers already have Michael Crabtree, Anquan Boldin, A.J Jenkins, Mario Manningham and Kyle Williams on the roster, Patton should be able to fit in nicely with this group and compete for a roster spot and ultimately for opportunities on offense. Jenkins has been a disappointing non-factor so far, as he failed to catch a single ball his rookie season. Manningham is coming off knee surgery and Boldin, who was never known for his speed, is slowing down even more at 32.
This opens the floor for an interesting competition for the No. 2 and No. 3 receiver spots, though Patton is more likely going to be fighting simply for the right make the dress list each week, assuming he makes the team.
If he can hold his own on special teams and make himself useful in as many ways possible, this intriguing new addition should fit nicely with the 49ers and find a role early on in his career.
In terms of value and need in Round 4, Patton was a great choice here. He gives the 49ers some much-needed depth in the back end of their receiving corps and a ton of production potential for years down the line.
If the 49ers were interested in superior athleticism over character and competitive drive, Mark Harrison out of Rutgers might have been a better pick here. But I think this is a team that values the chemistry in their locker room and would rather error on that side of the fence considering the output from their first-round pick of a year ago.
Patton was considered by many to be a second-round talent, so adding him this late in the draft makes the selection that much more impressive. I’m sure the 49ers front office was excited to see him still available at the 128th spot.