Are you a wide receiver that has declared for the 2013 NFL Draft? You are? Well, then you can fully expect that between now and Draft Day you will be the subject of my “Draft Target” series at some point because, well, the Vikings need help at the position.
Quinton Patton, you are up next!
Patton hails from Louisiana Tech where he played for his junior and senior seasons after playing his first two seasons for the football powerhouse that is Coffeyville Community College. Patton stands at 6′ 0″ and 200 pounds and combined for 2,594 yards and 24 touchdowns in his final two seasons.
The Vikings reportedly met with Patton during this week’s Combine, which isn’t anything surprising, but they are sure to be interested in a wide out with his skill set to try and boost their offensive production. A guy like Patton is of particular interest because he is not expected to require a first round investment to obtain.
Patton doesn’t have elite size and he didn’t burn up the forty yard dash in Indy (4.53), but he has very soft hands and is perhaps the most refined route runner in this class. In fact, Patton didn’t finish among the best at any Combine event other than the 20 yard shuffle, which somewhat aligns with his pedigree.
Where Patton might lack elite he speed he makes up for it with excellent fundamentals. He gets of the line very quick which prevents an opposing corner from jamming him with success, he displays very good acceleration and body control throughout his route, and has enough wiggle after the catch to make great things happen. Perhaps my favorite trait he possesses is his ability and willingness to go across the middle on a route with a toughness and attitude that reminds me of a young Brandon Marshall.
He also has a reputation as a player that never takes a play off, is very instinctive and intelligent on the field, and is a rare college prospect that is a proven down field blocker. One of the best cornerbacks in this Draft class, Johnthan Banks from Mississippi State, says that Patton is the best and most complete wide out he played against in college.
“I feel like (Patton) from Louisiana Tech is the best receiver I’ve played against since I’ve been here,” said Banks. “I’ve gone against some good ones in the SEC, too, but he’s probably the most complete.”
Complete. Now there is a word that is sure to appeal to Rick Spielman after his Head Coach’s recent comments about what he is looking for in a wide out.
“You’re always looking for speed at the wide receiver position,” said Frazier in Indianapolis. “We need an all-encompassing guy — can run by some people, make a difficult catch, run with the ball after he catches it.”
Patton just might be the “all-encompassing guy” that Frazier is after to take his passing game to the next level, and Spielman may not have to use up his first rounder to get him.
Oh, plus the guy can return kicks pretty darn good, too.