Cordarrelle Patterson chooses No. 84: 'Randy Moss was my role model'
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Cordarrelle Patterson smiled and hesitated for a moment when asked on Friday if he knew the history of the No. 84 jersey he'd just chosen.
The Minnesota Vikings' newest receiver, moments after being introduced at a media conference at Winter Park, acknowledged another receiver wore that number quite well in the same building.
"Randy Moss was my role model growing up since I was little," Patterson said. "I wore 84 in high school, and I was purple and gold. So, I looked up to Randy Moss the whole time. I got a chance to practice on the field he practiced on and play in the game he played in."
The Vikings traded four draft picks in a swap with New England for the No. 29 pick on Thursday night and made Patterson their third selection of the first round.
He's smaller than Moss at 6-foot-2 and 216 pounds and a less polished player coming out, having played one season at Tennessee following two years at Hutchinson Community College in Kansas.
But there's no question Patterson has speed -- he has been clocked as low as 4.3 seconds in the 40-yard dash -- which also was Moss' greatest weapon at the height of his 15-year NFL career.
"He was so fast," Patterson said. "When he got that ball in his hand ... he didn't want to get touched. Receivers don't like to get touched. So, Randy Moss get the ball in his hand, he's just going. He's just getting to the end zone."
Moss remains one of the most popular players in Vikings history, despite being traded away to Oakland after the 2004 season and returning for a tumultuous four-game stint in 2010.
In New York for the draft this week, Patterson had a chance encounter with another Vikings legend -- reigning MVP Adrian Peterson, who now is his teammate.
"It was kind of crazy," Patterson said. "I was walking past, and I just seen Adrian Peterson. I was like, 'Is this really Adrian Peterson?' So, I went up to him, I shook his hand, I was like, 'Dang.' I just shook my head, because I couldn't believe it."
Fellow first-round picks Sharrif Floyd and Xavier Rhodes also were introduced at the media conference, which was attended by owners Zygi and Mark Wilf.
Floyd, the defensive tackle from Florida, will wear No. 76. Rhodes, the cornerback from Florida State, will wear No. 29.