The Vikings have used four first-round picks in the past 15 years on receivers. Two ended up winning the NFL’s offensive rookie of the year award. The other one, well, didn’t.
Patterson’s first preseason performance suggests otherwise.
He took the opening kickoff 50 yards, nearly breaking it for a touchdown. He then added four catches for 52 yards.
“He’s really looked pretty good out there running routes and catching balls,” coach Leslie Frazier told Greg Coleman of the Vikings Radio Network after halftime. “That kickoff was pretty nice as well, so he’s off to a good start.”
Also getting off to a good start was the second first-round receiver taken by the Texans in franchise history, DeAndre Hopkins. He caught four passes for 52 yards, including a 34-yard touchdown.
Receivers have a fairly high bust rate in the first round, and there’s a long way to go before Patterson or Hopkins can be assessed at the NFL level. For both, their starts weren’t discouraging.