Summary: Patton has been one of the most consistent receivers in college football over the past couple of years. Patton landed at Louisiana Tech after two seasons at Coffeyville Community College. In his debut season, Patton had 79 receptions for 1,202 yards and 11 touchdowns. Mississippi State cornerback Johnthan Banks, a potential first-round pick, said that Patton was the best receiver he played that year.
Patton was even better as a senior. He totaled 104 receptions for 1,392 yards and 13 touchdowns. He had a great game against Illinois cornerback Terry Hawthorne, catching six receptions for 164 yards and two touchdowns. He was tremendous against Texas A&M as well, logging 21 receptions for 233 yards and four touchdowns. He also did well against Utah State with 11 catches for 181 yards.
Patton was impressive at the Senior Bowl. He battled against the defensive backs all week and made a lot of excellent contested catches. Patton was beating corners with shear desire to make the catch. Patton ran good routes and showed off superb hands.
WalterFootball.com spoke with some scouts about Patton. They said that he definitely beats cornerbacks by out competing them for contested catches, but that was at the college level. They are concerned that in the NFL all the desire and want to can't overcome bigger cornerbacks who can just slap the ball away. They also don't feel that Patton is fast enough to stretch the field vertically or consistently beat corners with speed to get separation. They felt he would be similar to Seahawk receiver Golden Tate.
Patton would be best as a contributing NFL receiver but is clearly not a No. 1 wideout. Patton could rotate in as a No. 2 and play slot receiver. He would be better off getting matched up against smaller slot corners. That would allow Patton to do what he does best and make catches over defensive backs. Patton looks likely to be a second- or third-round pick.
Player Comparison: Golden Tate. There are a lot of similarities between Patton and Tate. Both receivers lack elite speed or size, but are great competitors who fight for every reception. Tate has improved in his three seasons in Seattle and is a contributor as a second or third wideout. Patton could have a similar career path. Tate was a second-round pick 2010 and Patton could go on Day 2 this April.
NFL Matches: Buffalo, New York Jets, Miami, Minnesota, New England, Green Bay, San Francisco
There are a lot of teams that could consider Patton on the second day of the draft. Buffalo needs a complement to Stevie Johnson. The Jets could use more talent at receiver. Plus, Santonio Holmes could flame out at any time.
Miami enters the offseason with the worst receiving corps in the NFL. They may use multiple picks on receivers and Patton could be a nice receiver for Ryan Tannehill.
Minnesota badly needs receiving help for Christian Ponder. If the Vikings get rid of Percy Harvin, a receiver would be an even bigger lead.
The Patriots have an aging receiving corps and Patton would be a good understudy to Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd.
The Packers are likely to loose Greg Jennings this offseason and Patton would fit the Green Bay offense well.
The 49ers could use some receiving depth. Patton's gritty style fits their approach.