The cautious among us may wish to take a wait-and-see approach on Cordarrelle Patterson as he enters his second year in the NFL, but not everyone out there is so careful about heaping big expectations on the Vikings receiver.
Patterson himself is certainly not afraid to expect great things from himself. Speaking to NFL.com Patterson said:
I’m going to be a top-five playmaker. I’m a playmaker, I like to make plays. Like I tell them, just get the ball in my hands I feel like I’m special with it. I just like to do special things with the ball.
Sound a little boastful? Well it’s not a boast if it’s true. And Grantland’s Robert Mays reckons it’s true.
Mays argues that Patterson already is a top-5 playmaker in the NFL after just one season, and he dispatches a whole array of stats and GIFs to make his case. Mays raves in particular about one asset that sets Patterson apart:
Patterson’s best weapon isn’t his speed (although at 4.42 in the 40, he has plenty). It’s how easily he makes tacklers crumble. Wiggle isn’t a rare trait for great kick returners, but it is rare for someone who measures 6-foot-2 and nearly 220 pounds. Patterson can put his foot in the ground and stop his entire body, seemingly mid-stride, in the same way Devin Hester could. The difference is that Hester has less body to stop. The way Patterson changes direction at his size defies laws of nature.
There’s no question that Patterson possesses a rare skill set, but a rare skill set alone doesn’t make you a great weapon. Playmaking ability? Sure, Patterson has it. Top-5 playmaker in the league?
Maybe I’m just being overly cautious, but I don’t know if I’m ready to say that yet.