Cordarrelle Patterson was a two-time All-Pro as a kickoff returner during his four years in Minnesota, and yet he was a disappointment as a first-round draft pick. The Vikings drafted him thinking he’d become a big-play receiver, but he never even had a 500-yard receiving season.
This year Patterson signed with the Raiders, and they think they’re going to turn him into that big-play receiver he failed to become in Minnesota. Raiders offensive coordinator Todd Downing said there’s limitless potential for Patterson in Oakland’s offense.
“He’s a fun tool,” Downing said, via Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “I won’t speak too much about how he was used in the past; that’s somebody else’s job. But I can tell you that we’re going to have fun looking for ways to get him involved in the offense. He’s a big, strong, physical, dynamic-with-the-ball-in-his-hands type player, and we’re excited to see what he can do for us.”
And, of course, Patterson will return kickoffs as well.
“We’re excited about him,” special-teams coordinator Brad Seely said. “We’re really happy he’s on our roster. Obviously, in Minnesota, he was an outstanding returner. We feel like he can bring that to our table. He also can be a coverage guy for us on punt team. And it always comes down to how much offense is he going to play. We want to keep our guys as fresh as possible and balance with getting as many reps out of them as we can.”
The Raiders were mediocre returning kickoffs last year, and the presence of Patterson and his 30.4-yard career average should change that. Anything he does on top of that on offense is gravy.