With the date of the 2014 NFL draft ticking ever closer now is a good time to have a look at the class of 2013 to see how they are doing.
One of the more explosive and exciting 2013 prospects was the Minnesota Vikings' Cordarrelle Patterson.
Patterson was the 29th overall draft pick and the Viking's third overall choice behind defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd and cornerback Xavier Rhodes.
Patterson may still be a raw talent, especially at running routes, but everything suggests that these weaknesses can be coached out of him. After a relatively quiet start to the 2013 season Patterson became better and better as the season progressed.
Patterson began to shine on special teams and kick returns where last year he was sensational. In 43 kick returns Patterson ran for 1393 yards at an average of 32.4 yards picking up two touchdowns. That places him second in overall yards and top for yards per return.
In overall yards Patterson was only bettered by former Chicago Bears wide receiver Devin Hester.
Hester returned for 43 more yards than Patterson but had 9 more attempts and averaged 4.8 yards less per return. There was no better return man in the NFL than Patterson.
Patterson also showed promise as a wide receiver. Although his 479 yards and four touchdowns is no that t impressive, a closer look at the stats reveals more.
In the Vikings' last four games Patterson picked up 215 yards and three receiving touchdowns. That's 44.7% of his total yards. Towards the end of the season Patterson was really starting to thrive.
Patterson also showed potential as a rusher. Last year Patterson picked up 3 rushing touchdowns from 12 attempts at an average of 13.2 yards. Again most of these attempts came towards the back end of the season. 10 of Peterson's last 12 attempts came in the
last five games of the season.
Obviously, at the Vikings, Adrian Peterson will still be the number one rusher but going forward the Vikings are going to look to manage Peterson's carries in order to get the most out of him for as long as possible.
It wouldn't be surprising if the Vikings used Peterson more conservatively going forward. Patterson will likely get a large chunk of the snaps that Peterson doesn't.
Perhaps the biggest plus for Patterson though is the faith the Vikings organisation are showing in him.
New offensive co-ordinator Norv Turner is reportedly a big fan of Patterson. According to NFL.com the first thing Turner did in his new role was to install 10 plays into the Vikings offensive scheme designed specifically to get the most out of Patterson.
Patterson is poised for a monster breakout season.
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