Will Cordarrelle Patterson get pushed by rookie Stefon Diggs?


When the Minnesota Vikings used the 29th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft to grab Cordarrelle Patterson they knew they were getting a raw player but pulled the trigger because of his tremendous upside. Now entering his 3rd season, Patterson is facing a make or break season. Minnesota drafted a potential replacement when they selected Stefon Diggs in the 5th round of last year’s draft.

In a recent interview, head coach Mike Zimmer talked about how Patterson is still struggling with inconsistency. Zimmer questions whether or not Patterson has the drive to be a great receiver and wonders if he might be content with being a “flash” player.

Patterson brings value as a return man, but the salary tied to his first-round status will eventually put him on the roster bubble. Diggs is also an accomplished return man who carries much cheaper salary obligations. The salary cap makes it difficult for teams to justify a high priced return man.

This is why Patterson needs to show some major progress as a wide receiver. However, this could prove difficult as he currently sits behind Mike Wallace, Charles Johnson and Jarius Wright on the depth chart.

It’s also important to note that with the return of Adrian Peterson the Vikings will look to feature a run-heavy attack. There won’t be many situations where they have three or more wide receivers on the field.

Minnesota must also keep in mind the development of Teddy Bridgewater. Young quarterbacks need wide receivers they can count on to be in the right position. If Patterson can’t consistently run the correct routes or provide a reliable target then it would be in Minnesota’s best interest to give someone else a chance.

The Vikings have done a lot of great work improving their roster and appear ready to contend. They’re at the point where they can’t sacrifice production in order to develop an underperforming receiver.