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Vikings' pick at No. 29: Tennessee receiver Cordarrelle Patterson

by Tom Pelissero, 1500ESPN.com Updated 28 months ago | 7307 reads

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings weren't done after two picks on Thursday night. 

General manager Rick Spielman ran out of his media conference to complete a trade, moving back into the first round to select Tennessee receiver Cordarrelle Patterson at No. 29 overall. 

"He has some unique skills when you watch the tape on him, when they put him in the backfield and pitched him the ball, if you throw him a bubble screen, when you see him go downfield," Spielman said.

"You're talking about a 6-1, 215-(pound) receiver that runs a 4.3 (in the 40-yard dash) that is electric with the ball in his hands and what he does after the catch and what he does as a returner."

The Vikings gave up their second-round and third-round picks (Nos. 52 and 83 overall), plus the first of their two fourth-rounders (No. 102) and the last of their three seventh-rounders (No. 229) to complete the deal.

Patterson, 22, made an official visit to Winter Park for the Vikings' Top 30 dinner. He also spoke with them on campus and at the NFL scouting combine.

He caught 46 passes for 778 yards and five touchdowns in his only season at Tennessee after transferring in from Hutchinson Community College in Kansas.

"My strength is with the ball in my hands," Patterson said. "I can do whatever I want with it. I feel like I can go back to kick return. I feel I can throw it and run it. ...

"I'm still working on my route-running. I've got a lot to improve on that, learn coverages and stuff. But I feel like now I'm with Coach George (Stewart). He's a great coach, and me and him sat down for like an hour and talked, just got to know each other, and I feel like -- I know he's going to help me get where I need to be."

Spielman also spoke highly of Patterson's potential in the return game. He averaged 28 yards on 24 punt returns and 25.3 yards on four kick returns for the Volunteers, with one touchdown in each phase.

That's something the Vikings could use, considering they traded away their kick returner, Percy Harvin, to Seattle last month.

"Not only is he going to give you a young receiver that you can bring along under the guidance of a Greg Jennings, under Coach Stew (George Stewart), under Bill Musgrave," Spielman said, "but also replacing someone that's very difficult to replace when we traded Percy. But this guy can do, we feel, just as much or more than Percy can as a returner."

Patterson freely admits he's raw but believes that just means he's only scratched the surface of his potential.

"It's going to come," Patterson said. "I feel like I have a lot more to learn. I feel like I can get better."

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
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