In a blockbuster trade with the New England Patriots, the Minnesota Vikings acquired the 29th overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. They used that pick to select Cordarrelle Patterson, a Wide Receiver from the University of Tennessee. Despite Patterson’s limited experience and raw talents, the Vikings decided he was worth taking the risk on.
The problem is that Patterson’s inexperience and lack of knowledge may keep him on the sidelines more often than he is on the field. Although he will most likely be returning kicks for the team, Patterson will still have to prove that he can learn the route tree and the playbook before he will take over as the starter on offense.
That starting job is currently held by Jerome Simpson. As a member of the Vikings last year, Simpson seemed to develop chemistry with Quarterback Christian Ponder even though he was hampered all season by injuries and served an early suspension. He was brought back by the Vikings management with a 1-year, $2 million contract because of his familiarity with the offense and lack of depth at the Wide Receiver position.
The good news is that Patterson has already been studying his playbook and running routes with the offense. The night before rookie minicamp, Patterson claims he spent a couple hours studying his playbook and learning the Vikings offense on paper.
Wide Receivers Coach George Stewart doesn’t think it will take very long for him to absorb all the information and is willing to put in the extra work with him. If Patterson continues with his studying and keeps up his hard work habits, he may be named the starter sooner rather than later.
So, the big question remains: How long will it take Patterson to learn enough to overtake Simpson as the starter? Will it happen during training camp? Mid-season? Next season? Only time will tell.