The Minnesota Vikings have struggled to find a role for Cordarrelle Patterson since he was brought in as a first-round pick out of Tennessee in 2013.
After watching the Green Bay Packers turn receiver Ty Montgomery into a running back this past season out of necessity, Patterson would love the chance to move into a similar role in 2017.
There has never been any doubt about his ability to make game-changing plays when he has the ball in his hands. This became evident early in his career when he parlayed his talents into a prominent role as a kickoff return man, something he’s continued to do throughout his four-year career.
“I would love to play running back,” Patterson said on the podcast. “I think any receiver in my position would love to play running back. People always say, ‘He’s just a running back when he gets the ball in his hands.’ ”
When given limited opportunities to run the ball on jet sweeps or even as a primary running back, Patterson has delivered. With 333 yards and four touchdowns on 31 career carries (10.7 yards per carry), he’s clearly a tremendously explosive option out of the backfield.
The Vikings might be in a position to use him as a running back this upcoming season. Adrian Peterson might not be coming back, especially not on his current contract which counts for $18 million against Minnesota’s cap this upcoming season. He’s already talked about a few teams he’d like to join in the twilight of his career (more on that here) and appears to be all but gone.
This means the Vikings would be heading into April’s draft with just Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata as their primary backs, and they didn’t perform well at all this year in Peterson’s absence.
It’s not a given that Patterson will even be back with Minnesota, as he’s a free agent this March. But the franchise would be smart to sign him and use him as much as possible this upcoming season. We’d love to see him get a chance to run the ball more, and the Vikings clearly need all the help they can get on that front.