Patterson is a hot commodity in early mock drafts. (USAT)
Place your ear to the grapevine this time of year and chances are you’re bound to hear stories of despair, mediocrity and, of course, excessive hype …
This group of draft prospects is RISING. That group is FALLING. Everyone in this class is destined to overachieve/underachieve.
The wild speculation, whether positive or negative, is seemingly endless. Sonny Weaver, the fictional general manager of the Cleveland Browns in ‘Draft Day,’ would certainly agree. Just look at the insane rumors regarding former Pitt QB Tom Savage and Drake's brother from another mother Johnny Manziel.
Smokescreens or not, fantasy owners, who function similarly as GMs over fledgling virtual franchises, face identical dilemmas. Receive poor intel and you’re likely headed to an early grave filled with constant ridicule and liquid therapy. However, buy into rock solid intel, and jet planes, islands, tigers on a gold leash aren’t a figment of the imagination, they’re reality.
We may be months away from meaningful football, but the buzz surrounding a number of players is rapidly building. To ensure you don’t fall into a Ryan Leaf deathtrap, here’s my take on seven commodities sure to be sensationalized in fantasy drafts come August:
Cordarrelle Patterson, Min, WR (Current ADP: 51.5, WR22)
The Buzz: Under the direction of vertical-minded Norv Turner, CP is sure to take a major leap forward possibly topping out as a high-end WR2 in 12-team leagues.
Believe or make believe? BELIEVE. Slow out of the gates in his rookie season, Patterson turned on the afterburners from Week 13 on as then OC Bill Musgrave finally pulled head out of posterior, calling the youngster's number often. During that stretch he totaled 375 combined yards and six touchdowns. His resulting 14.7 fantasy points per game average in standard formats ranked top-five among wideouts and carried owners to championship glory. Because of his route rawness, much of that production came on the ground, in the return game or on designed wide receiver screens. On 11 targets beyond 22-yards he caught just one pass and only one of his TDs was scored beyond 10 yards. In his second season, he should add some polish becoming a more complete WR. With Norval calling the shots, he could transform into a poor man's Josh Gordon.
Bottom Line: Patterson's length, catch radius, versatility and breakaway speed has Turner's ticker pumping with anticipation. The OC will get very creative with his new toy. However, the $64,000 question remains: Who will pass him the rock this fall? Matt Cassel and burning couch Christian Ponder are back, but it seems highly likely the Vikes will entertain a QB (Manziel anyone?) at No. 8 overall in next month's draft. Regardless who is under center Week 1, Patterson should vault up draft boards as the summer progresses. In 12-team drafts, snapping tendons for his services early in Round 3 wouldn't be moronic.Read More »from First Down: Should you buy the hype on Patterson, Foles, others?