by Douglas O’Connor
follow me on Twitter @Ren_Daxt
A mini-miracle has occurred here at Real Bucs Talk, we all agree on something! Michael, Mark and myself all think the Buccaneers should go after only one wide receiver during the 2017 free agency period and we feel it needs and has to be Cordarrelle Patterson.
Patterson was a 1st round draft pick of the Minnesota Vikings back in 2013. After a very promising rookie season his numbers dipped slightly in his second season, only to fall into Norv Turner’s doghouse in 2015 and rarely saw the field. Cordarrelle redeemed himself this past season and put up comparable numbers to his first year, even with a mid-season change of his offensive coordinator.
At first look Patterson’s number gives the appearance of a solid number 2 or a productive slot receiver. If you take out the 2015 season (2 catches for 10 yards), Cordarrelle averaged 43 catches for 435 yards with just over 2 touchdowns per year. Nothing to get excited about for sure, but if you look a little deeper Patterson’s real value becomes apparent. Factor in another 4 touchdowns on the ground and 5 more from returning kicks. Cordarrelle’s value is clear.
Blessed with true 4.4 speed that is spread through his 6′ 2″ 220 lbs frame, Patterson is built as an every down receiver. He has scores of 79, 67, and 50, the last two coming on the ground, makes him a big play threat from anywhere on the field. He also has 3 kickoff returns over 100 yards and a total of 24 over 40 yards. Widely considered as the leagues best return man Cordarrelle is a 3 time All Pro selection and is going to his 3rd Pro Bowl later this month.
Buccaneer GM Jason Licht loves versatile players and Patterson fills three impending needs. First is speed. Head coach Dirk Koetter talked about in his exit presser about getting faster on offense. Second is wide receiver help for Jameis. Although Patterson’s number aren’t eye popping, I believe that he is not suited for the short and quick passing game Minnesota runs. He would be a much better fit here in Tampa that employs deeper route running and more shots over the top of the defense. Third is the instant upgrade to the kickoff returns. The Buccaneers ranked dead last in this category in 2016 and the addition of Patterson could take them all the up to 1st.
Jason Licht will still have to look to upgrade the wide receiver position in the draft but we think that Cordarrelle Patterson is the only and right choice in this year free agent market.
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Thanks for reading and as always Go Bucs!