Posted: 1:36 pm Wednesday, February 13th, 2013
By Post Staff
The Dolphins need to find at least one top wide receiver for the future, if not two, but the prospects in this April’s draft don’t make the search easy.
The draft has at least a half dozen receivers who are projected to go in the second round, but there doesn’t seem to be an elite prospect in this crop, and there’s not much consensus among draftniks about which receivers deserve first-round grades. The Dolphins pick No. 12 overall, and many fans want them to take an alpha receiver with the pick, although the moves Dolphins make in free agency in March will largely determine their draft strategy.
ESPN’s Mel Kiper and Todd McShay both list Tennessee’s Cordarrelle Patterson as the top receiver in this year’s draft, and Kiper has the Dolphins taking Patterson with their first-round pick in his latest mock draft, while McShay has Patterson going to the Rams at No. 16 after the Dolphins pass him over.
Meanwhile, Walter Football, for example has Patterson ranked as the sixth-best wide receiver in this year’s class. That site considers Cal’s Keenan Allen as the top receiver, while Kiper and McShay have Allen as the second-best receiver but not worthy of the Dolphins’ 12th pick. Kiper also has Louisiana Tech’s Quinton Patton as a late-first rounder, while McShay likes Tennessee’s Justin Hunter at the end of Round 1.
So if the Dolphins do take a receiver at 12, it will be a matter of preference, because none of the top options stand out. But Kiper said today on a conference call that Patterson, a junior college transfer who played just one year at Tennessee, is raw now but offers the highest upside.
Patterson stands 6-3 and 205 pounds and has excellent speed. He caught 46 passes for 778 yards (16.9 average) and five touchdowns, while adding another three rushing touchdowns and one touchdown each on kickoff and punt returns.
“Patterson would be the only one at 12 that would make sense,” Kiper said. “Patterson is just enormous talent. He’s got incredible athletic ability, he flashed out in a lot of games. Obviously a little raw coming in, and I thought he showed he’s deserving of being in the first-round discussion during the year. He gets pushed up because of where he can be two or three years from now.”
Patterson wasn’t the most consistent player last year, coming up small in big games against Georgia, Mississippi State, Alabama and South Carolina (all losses). Still Kiper likes Patterson better than Allen, who missed three games this year with an injury and had shaky quarterback play but still finished with 61 catches for 737 yards and six touchdowns, plus a punt return touchdown. He’d likely be the only other option for the Dolphins at 12.
“Patterson did not have dominant performances in a number of games,” Kiper said. But “he’s got freakish talent. He should work out phenomenally well, another guy who should be one of those workout warriors.”
“I think he’s worthy of being the 12th pick. You look at where he could be a year or two from now, it’s not a big stretch to take him at that point.”