The Vikings know they have a special — albeit raw — talent in Cordarrelle Patterson.
But they’re taking steps on the field and off to try to get the rookie wide receiver up to speed, and up to the potential they see in him.
The first steps are today, when they begin a rookie minicamp. But even in details as small as stationing his locker next to veteran Greg Jennings, they’re doing everything they can to make his transition easier for a player with one year of Division I football under his belt.
“If a player may be a little behind mentally, it’s our job to figure out the best way he learns and it’s our job to put a plan in place on how he’s going to do that,” Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said, via Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com. “The other thing that’s very encouraging that we were very excited about was we felt that, after spending time with [Patterson], the work ethic is there, because if the kid is willing to work at it, then you have a lot better chance of having success.”
Their hope is that they can turn him into the kind of multi-purpose threat they lost when they traded Percy Harvin to the Seahawks.
“They have a tough time getting him on the ground,” Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave said. “Whether they tossed it to him, threw it to him or he was returning kicks, he said it himself — he’s special with the ball in his hands.”
And this weekend, the Vikings will begin plotting how to do just that.