New England Patriots Draft Prospects: Cordarrelle Patterson, Darius Slay


Although he will likely be gone long before the New England Patriots are on the clock with the 29th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, Tennessee Volunteers wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson is somebody Patriots fans need to keep an eye on in the pre-draft process in case he does somehow slip into the Pats hands in the late first-round.

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Patterson is the most explosive wide receiver in this draft class, but I am not quite as high on him as some people. I care more about what wide receivers do before the catch as opposed to what they do after it, but I do realize that receivers as explosive and dangerous with the ball in their hands as Patterson are ones to hold in high regard.

It is interesting that well-respected talent evaluator Greg Cosell tweeted this, “Patterson will be drafted high due to size + athletic tools. Not as explosive running routes as he is with ball in his hands. Lack of exp.”

I love Patterson’s upside and playmaking ability, but “upside” is a dangerous word and playmaking ability can fizzle out at the wide receiver position quickly (see DeSean Jackson). In my opinion, hands and route-running are the two most important things, and that’s where Patterson strikes out on- especially as a route-runner. He is worth a first-round pick, but he is not nearly as good as Keenan Allen and it would be unwise to take him as the first receiver in the draft.

Everyone knows about Johnthan Banks as the star cornerback from Mississippi State, but there is another CB from the Bulldogs worth watching closely in this year’s draft in Darius Slay. Banks’s stock slid due to a subpar Combine, but he could still be picked in the first-round and was recently mocked by Daniel Jeremiah to the New England Patriots. According to top draft analyst Tony Pauline, it is possible for Slay to be picked over his more heralded teammate. Let’s keep an eye on that.

You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.