Cordarrelle Patterson: Vikings hype or hope for 2016


Cordarrelle Patterson has all of the physical tools to succeed with the Minnesota Vikings, but will 2016 prove to be hype than hope for the wide receiver?

Ever since the Minnesota Vikings packaged together several draft picks to move back into the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft to get wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson, there were talks of him being the greatest pass catcher the team has seen since Randy Moss wore a purple uniform.

Related Story: Does Patterson finally 'get it'?

Sadly, things haven’t worked out that way. After reportedly struggling with the playbook and route running, Patterson was regulated to kick return duty. While he did excel as a returner, that isn’t the reason the team invested so heavily in the dynamic prospect. After three years of disappointment at wide receiver, many fans have thrown in the towel on the young man.

That brings Minnesota Vikings fans to the 2016 NFL season. Just like years past, there is a lot of hope that Patterson will be able to put it all together and finally contribute at wide receiver as well as kick returner. But unlike those other years, there is a good reason to believe this year could be different.

After three seasons in the league, there are finally some reports that Cordarrelle Patterson has figured out why he hasn’t become a superstar. Much like a kid who got straight A’s through high school and never had to study based on smarts, the next level proved to be a culture shock. Patterson could no longer coast by based on physical talents alone.

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According to an article from Cover 32, Patterson is doing things much differently this year and working harder on his craft than ever.

"“I just approach this whole year different than I’ve been doing. I’m a lot more focused, just trying to work on my craft—route running, getting in and out of breaks, just trying to get the timing good with Teddy.”"

That work Patterson is putting is isn’t only of the physical type. He’s been putting in effort when it comes to formations, route running, and placement. This could be the biggest difference between this upcoming season and those in the past and head coach Mike Zimmer is ready to see the new and improved pass catcher according to KFAN.

"“He’s not making mental errors – very, very few mental errors. He’s running the routes at the proper depth. He’s lining up at the proper place. I don’t know that it’s ever been an issue with athletic ability with him, but maybe sometimes the focus – it’s like today out in practice, in stretch sometimes guys say hi to me or something and he said, ‘I’m going to get better today.’ That’s his focus now. In the past it was maybe not all about that.”"

Next: Vikings game-by-game 2016 season preview

This may be Cordarrelle Patterson’s last year to stick with the Minnesota Vikings if he doesn’t impress. The team has declined the fifth-year option on his contract and will become a free agent at the end of the year unless he is signed to an extension. Whether or not he will get that decision rests on whether or not the rumors of his improvement have been hype or a real reason to hope this season.