It’s convenient to say that Cordarrelle Patterson will become the next Josh Gordon, but Patterson and Gordon were used much differently in 2013.
Nearly two-thirds of Patterson’s targets came within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage, and a whopping 22 of them came on passes behind the line.
But Gordon did most of his damage downfield in Norv Turner’s vertical passing attack. More than 55 percent of his targets came when he was 10 yards or more past the line of scrimmage, and only Torrey Smith and A.J. Green were targeted beyond 20 yards more often. With just two targets behind the line of scrimmage, Gordon was rarely utilized in the screen game.
Patterson has the size and speeded needed to thrive in a vertical passing attack, so it’s going to be fun to watch him attempt to develop into an all-around receiver like Gordon. It will be also interesting to see how often Turner tries to take advantage of what Patterson already can do.
All arrows are pointing up for Patterson, who was the #10 WR from Week 10 to Week 17 in his rookie season. He scored seven touchdowns in that span (three rush, four receiving) while racking up 29 catches for 323 yards to go along with 10 carries for 156 rushing yards. With Josh Gordon coming off of a breakout season under new Vikings OC Norv Turner, Patterson should be a fantasy starter sooner rather than later. His TD rate will be difficult to maintain, but he should see a jump in touches in 2014. Patterson is very raw as a route runner and needs to develop quickly in that facet of the game if he's to have the type of season that many are predicting.