Cowboys Extra: Spotlight on Vikings WR/KR Cordarrelle Patterson

Posted Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Height: 6-foot-2 Weight: 220

Season: Rookie College: Tennessee

Strengths: Patterson has good size, great speed (4.42) and is athletic (37-inch vertical). At the University of Tennessee, he scored as a receiver, runner, kick returner and punt returner. Patterson has made an immediate impact in the return game in the NFL. He ranks first in the NFL with a 39.1-yard average on 18 kickoff returns this season, including two for touchdowns. He is a game-breaker on special teams. As a developmental prospect on offense, Patterson is making progress and has tremendous upside.

Weaknesses: He is raw as a receiver. His route running still needs work. Patterson played only one season of major college football after two years in the JUCO ranks. This season on offense, he has 13 receptions for 133 yards, with one catch longer than 20 yards. Last year with the Vols, Patterson had 46 catches for 778 yards and five TDs.

Last game: Patterson had two catches for 26 yards and returned five kickoffs for 228 yards, including a 109-yard touchdown, tying the longest return in NFL history, in the Vikings’ 44-31 loss to the Green Bay Packers.

Who has to stop him? The Vikings rank first in the NFL in average drive start after a kickoff with a 26.1-yard average, but the Cowboys defensively are second in drive start as the kicking team averages opponents starting on the 20.0-yard line. Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey is tied for second in the NFL with 34 touchbacks on 48 kickoffs. The Vikings had an 86-yard punt return for a touchdown two weeks ago against the New York Giants as Marcus Sherels scored the team’s only points in that loss.

Notable: Patterson was the 29th overall pick in the April draft. … He has kickoff returns of 105 and 109 this season. … Percy Harvin is the only other returner in Vikings’ history to have two kickoff returns for touchdowns in a season. … Patterson’s 109-yarder last week was an NFL record for a kickoff return. It tied Antonio Cromartie’s for the NFL’s longest play. Cromartie had a 109-yard return of a missed field goal for the San Diego Chargers against the Vikings in 2007. … Harvin owns the Vikings’ team record for most kickoff returns for a touchdown in a career, with five. … The Vikings have five return TDs on special teams in the three seasons Mike Priefer has coordinated the unit. … Patterson played two years at Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College.

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