Cordarrelle Patterson faces heady comparisons, crazy hype

  • Article by: DAN WIEDERER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 27, 2013 - 6:17 AM

Cordarrelle Patterson is even wearing Randy Moss’ old No. 84. Still, the Vikings must temper the expectations.

hide

“Randy Moss was my role model growing up,” Cordarrelle Patterson said Friday. “Now I’ve got a chance to practice on the field he practiced on and play in the games he played in.” m

Photo: ELIZABETH FLORES • eflores@startribune.com ,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Cordarrelle Patterson best be ready for this. All of it. The hype, the expectations, and yes, the comparisons.

And man oh man, on Patterson’s first full day as a Viking, the comparisons were grand.

Remember Randy Moss, he of the 587 catches, 9,316 yards and 92 touchdowns while wearing a No. 84 Vikings jersey? It’s no coincidence that Patterson, the receiver whom the Vikings traded four picks to secure on the NFL draft’s first night, will be wearing Moss’ old number.

He always has, going back to his days wearing purple and gold for the Northwestern High School Trojans in South Carolina.

“Randy Moss was my role model growing up,” Patterson said at his introductory news conference Friday. “Now I’ve got a chance to practice on the field he practiced on and play in the games he played in.”

And you remember Percy Harvin, too, right? For the past four seasons, Harvin had been a do-it-all barrel of TNT who just needed the ball to create something special, with backfield pitches or bubble screens, darts down the field or even on kick returns. Turns out Patterson has similar potential — in all areas.

Moss was the 1998 Offensive Rookie of the Year. Harvin became an instant Pro Bowl player.

No wonder the early local reaction to Thursday’s eye-opening trade for Patterson was so enthusiastic.

Said Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman: “I couldn’t believe a guy this size and this much speed made the type of movement and had the type of elusiveness that he showed.”

But now — deep breath — is where the current Vikings regime must temper its excitement with an explanation that Patterson’s NFL orientation will be significantly bumpier than those two previous Vikings stars.

Unlike Moss or Harvin, Patterson only spent one season in major college football, rerouted to Hutchinson Community College in Kansas out of high school before last season’s 46-catch, 778-yard campaign at Tennessee.

He is undeniably raw and will be followed into the league by questions about his work ethic and ability to fully absorb an NFL offense. That’s the knock, the perception among Patterson critics who quickly point to his poor academic record in high school as a warning sign.

“People always misjudge me off things they hear,” Patterson said. “I tell them, just sit aside and listen to my side of the story.”

Everyone inside the Vikings organization recognized Patterson’s elite athleticism the instant they began studying him. For Spielman, it wasn’t just that his first film viewing had him ranking the Tennessee receiver side by side with West Virginia’s Tavon Austin as the most electrifying receivers in this draft. It’s that the more Spielman talked to his coaching contacts in the SEC, the more raves he heard.

“They said he was maybe the best athlete in the SEC,” Spielman said.

Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave sees Patterson as a player who can stimulate his creativity, a kid who can be used in so many different ways and has always worked around his limitations on his circuitous path to the NFL.

“Every stop he’s had along the way,” Musgrave said, “it’s been clear he’s been one of the best if not the best player on the field each and every game.”

Receivers coach George Stewart fell in love with Patterson’s game tape, then struck up an instant bond with the receiver during his predraft visit to Winter Park earlier this month.

Patterson said Stewart “was the only coach during this process that I feel I connected with.” Which is a good thing considering Stewart’s tutelage may be the fulcrum in this whole experiment to turn Patterson into the next Moss or Harvin.

With that in mind, the Vikings have already stepped back from their initial exuberance and begun planning to nurture Patterson.

Some players, they will tell you, learn best directly out of a playbook or on a whiteboard in the classroom. Others need extensive film study. Some simply like to get out on the field and moved around.

It’s now the Vikings’ responsibility to connect with Patterson in the most productive manner possible.

A diamond in the rough only maximizes its value when polished.

Said Spielman: “That’s all going to be done as we go through this process. We’ll see how quickly he comes along, what he can and can’t handle [as a receiver], what he can and can’t handle as a returner and go from there. We got a player we know is a great athlete. Now let’s see what we can do with him.”

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Portland 0 Postponed
Brooklyn 0
Sacramento 0 Postponed
New York 0
Philadelphia 74 FINAL
New Orleans 99
Minnesota 84 FINAL
Oklahoma City 92
Orlando 94 FINAL
Memphis 103
Boston 99 FINAL
Utah 90
Denver 98 FINAL
LA Clippers 102
Army 68 FINAL
American Univ 66
Wright State 64 FINAL
Detroit 53
Syracuse 83 FINAL
North Carolina 93
Cleveland State 56 FINAL
Oakland 59
Delaware State 54 FINAL
NC Central 55
High Point 63 FINAL
Presbyterian 54
Howard 45 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 42
Coppin State 84 FINAL
NC A&T 71
Nicholls 51 FINAL
Northwestern St 80
Hampton 56 FINAL
SC State 65
Gardner-Webb 59 FINAL
Campbell 78
MD-Eastern Shore 72 FINAL
Florida A&M 65
Stephen F Austin 82 FINAL
Lamar 65
Central Arkansas 67 FINAL
New Orleans 87
Norfolk State 70 FINAL
Savannah State 54
TX A&M-CC 70 FINAL
SE Louisiana 61
Sam Houston St 80 FINAL
Abilene Christian 63
McNeese State 84 FINAL
Incarnate Word 86
Milwaukee 48 FINAL
Valparaiso 73
Alcorn State 66 FINAL
Alabama A&M 78
Southern U 59 FINAL
Alabama State 63
Prairie View 68 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 105
Texas 86 FINAL
Iowa State 89
Texas Southern 85 FINAL
Miss Valley St 84
Long Island 85 FINAL
Bryant 88
Central Conn St 51 FINAL
St Francis-NY 49
Fairleigh Dickinson 0 Postponed
Sacred Heart 0
St Francis-PA 87 FINAL
Wagner 74
Delaware State 59 FINAL
NC Central 66
Howard 53 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 61
Coppin State 49 FINAL
NC A&T 67
Hampton 88 FINAL
SC State 53
Norfolk State 54 FINAL
Savannah State 56
MD-Eastern Shore 54 FINAL
Florida A&M 64
Angelo State 55 FINAL
Abilene Christian 70
Samford 32 FINAL
(25) Chattanooga 49
Prairie View 83 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 66
Alcorn State 58 FINAL
Alabama A&M 55
Southern U 53 FINAL
Alabama State 49
Texas Southern 63 FINAL
Miss Valley St 52
(12) Texas A&M 61 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 79
Robert Morris 68 FINAL
Mount St Marys 44
East Tenn St 72 FINAL
Mercer 70
Wofford 56 FINAL
Furman 58
Morehead St 64 FINAL
Tenn Tech 54
Illinois 57 FINAL
Michigan 70
Quinnipiac 0 Postponed
Manhattan 0
Saint Peters 0 Postponed
Rider 0
(18) Miss State 59 FINAL
Auburn 48
(15) Nebraska 72 FINAL
(20) Iowa 78
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who will win the Super Bowl?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close