This is the 16th in a 20-part series examining some possibilities for the Browns in the 2013 NFL Draft, including extensive looks at the most likely prospects for the No. 6 overall selection, potential targets later in the draft, trade-down scenarios, what the other teams in the AFC North might do and the top players coming out of Ohio State.
Each morning will bring a new, daily posting leading up the NFL Scouting Combine on Feb 20.
Today we continue with a "freakishly" athletic wide receiver who isn't as highly ranked now but is picking up momentum and could shoot up draft boards following the combine, like many receivers have done recently.
Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee, wide receiver
Height/weight: 6-foot-3, 205 pounds.
Current overall prospect ranks: NFLDraftScout.com: 19th; Scout's Inc.: 25th; ESPN's Todd McShay: 25th; ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr.: 17th.
Current projected draft position: NFLDraftScout.com's Dane Brugler and Kiper have Patterson going the highest at No. 12 to the Miami Dolphins. Rob Rang, also of NFLDraftScout.com, sees him being taken at No. 23 by the Minnesota Vikings. McShay has Patterson going to the St. Louis Rams with the 16th pick. Also worth noting, Albert Breer of NFL Network mocked Patterson to the Browns at No. 6 a couple of weeks ago.
Overview: Patterson played at Tennessee for one only season after becoming one of the top junior college players in the country. He set about every record while at Hutching Community College in Kansas and then set a couple records for the Volunteers and was named a coaches selection First Team All-SEC. A versatile athlete, Patterson became the first person since 2008 to score a touchdown four different ways and set an SEC single-season record with a combined kickoff-punt return average of 27.6 yards and a Tennessee record with 1,858 all-purpose yards. As a receiver, he caught 46 passes for 778 yards (16.9 average) and five touchdowns. His teammate, Justin Hunter, received much of the national spotlight with Patterson being a no-name JUCO transfer, but that quickly changed as Patterson's athleticism was put into play.
What they're saying: Patterson has a solid frame with good height and length. ... He's fluid with good initial burst and strength to release to the inside and gain separation in single coverage. ... Knows how to create with excellent vision, controlled footwork and speed and the ability to make sharp cuts. ... Natural feel for the ball in his hands. ... Able to weave through defenses. ... Tough, confident ball carrier, can break arm tackles. ... Still raw as a route runner and will tip his patterns at times. ... Natural hands-catcher but will have some concentration lapses. ... Needs to scale back his physicality downfield. ... Has a habit to search for the home run. ... Possible top-seven player, Julio Jones ceiling.
NFLDraftScout.com player comparison: Mix of Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs, and Nate Burleson, Detroit Lions.
Why he fits the Browns' needs: The Browns have a promising nucleus of young talent on the offensive side of the ball. At wide receiver, Josh Gordon had a productive rookie season and Greg Little showed improvement in the second half of the year, but Little's antics and drops might overshadow that. Either way, an upgrade at receiver is probably needed. Patterson is a better athlete than both, and if he had more tape at the FBS level, might be projected to go into the top 10 already. If the Browns don't like any of the pass rushers available at No. 6 and coach Rob Chudzinski wants to upgrade the passing game and help out quarterback Brandon Weeden, Patterson is an option as a high-ceiling receiver to grow with the rest of the offense. In many years, it seems as though there's one receiver who enters the combine as a mid-first round pick and explodes into the top-10. Two years ago, that was Julio Jones. Entering that combine, Jones was thought to be firmly behind A.J. Green as the No. 1 wideout but after impressing scouts in about every drill, was considered by some to be on equal footing. This could be Patterson. Since he has such little film to go off, and he was adjusting to the SEC last year, Patterson impressing scouts would go a long way, and his potential could catapult him, possibly, up to No. 6.