The Vikings really wanted wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson in the draft. Minnesota traded up in the draft with the New England Patriots, giving them the #52, #83, #102, and #229 in exchange for the #29 pick. That is a lot of picks to trade for one player.
Luckily for the Vikings, Patterson has already shown some of the explosiveness that they saw in him when he was drafted. His speed and elusiveness on kick returns and his ability to get yards after there catch were on display in the preseason.
But this isn’t the preseason anymore. With one week in the books, Minnesota doesn’t look like they really know what to do with the dynamic young player. Patterson only saw five offensive snaps against the Lions and didn’t get many opportunities to return kicks.
“It’s kind of frustrating. When I do catch the ball, I try to make the most of it. When they kick it over my head, sometimes I just wish they’d kick it to me. But they’re great kickers and there’s going to be a lot that go over my head so I just got to live with it.” -Cordarrelle Patterson
It was expected by many that Patterson would leapfrog current starter Jerome Simpson this year. Simpson isn’t going to let that happen without a fight. Simpson is feeling healthy and put up 140 receiving yards on 7 catches for the Vikings in week 1.
“I feel like I can do more. I just want to stay consistent. I just want to stay consistent. I want to be a consistent target so they can count on me, Christian can count on me. So I can show my natural abilities and show I’m one of the top receivers in this league. I just want to stay consistent this whole year so I can get a big contract, a long-term contract and stay here.” -Jerome Simpson
If Simpson can succeed, it could come at a big price for Patterson. The Vikings are locked into a huge contract with former Green Bay Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings and if Simpson can secure a long term deal and remain a starter, that leaves Patterson on the outside looking in.
It would put the Vikings in an odd place, too. To surrender that many picks for a player who would struggle to see playing time would be a waste of both talent and resources.
Vikings offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave hopes to get Patterson more involved in the offense this week. It will be interesting to see how he plans on doing that with Simpson playing well, Jennings a solidified starter, and Wright looking to break out in the slot.