Oct 12, 2012; Starkville, MS, USA; Tennessee Volunteers wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson (84) runs with the ball during the game against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Davis Wade Stadium. Mississippi State won 41-31. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden–USA TODAY Sports

NFL Draft: Will The Carolina Panthers Draft Cordarrelle Patterson?

The NFL draft is a little over a month away. That means it’s time for mock drafts, predictions, projections and most of all, plenty of guesses.

Former Tennessee Volunteer Cordarrelle Patterson has seen his stock rise dramatically over the last few months. In less then a year the South Carolina native has went from a wide receiver at Hutchinson Community College, to starting opposite Justin Hunter at Tennessee and now he could possibly be the first receiver taken in the 2013 NFL draft.

If Patterson does wind up being the first receiver taken in the draft, then that makes the next logical question — who will be the team that drafts him?

There are quite a few reputable analysts and mock drafts that previously projected the Miami Dolphins taking Patterson with the 12th overall pick.

On Tuesday the Dolphins reached an agreement on a five year deal with former Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace.

The deal with Wallace means the Dolphins will most likely try to address other team needs, most likely a cornerback.

A few mocks have had Patterson going as early as the eighth overall pick to the Buffalo Bills. Wide receiver is definitely a position of need for the Bills, but with the release of quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick on Tuesday, it’s very likely the Bills will look to add a quarterback now.

It now looks like more and more of a possibility that Carolina Panthers could end up drafting Patterson. The Panthers have a vast array of team needs. Most analysts have the Panthers taking a defensive tackle or defensive back.

Wide receiver, however, is just as big of a need for the Panthers.

Steve Smith, while still very productive, is not getting any younger. The veteran receiver will turn 34 in May.

The Panthers have tried for years to find a suitable counterpart for Smith. Carolina hasn’t had a reliable number two receiver since Mushin Muhammad left for the Chicago Bears, briefly returned and eventually retired. The Panthers have turned to a plethora of receivers during that time time including: Keary Colbert, Drew Carter, Keyshawn Johnson, Dwayne Jarrett, Armanti Edwards, Brandon LaFell and David Gettis among others.

On Tuesday Joe Person, a Panthers beat writer for the Charlotte Observer, said on WFNZ’s “The Drive” that he believes Panthers head coach Ron Rivera would love nothing more then to surround Cam Newton with as many play-makers as possible. Person said he believes if there’s an explosive play-making wide receiver available at the 14th pick, then the Panthers may pull the trigger. Person didn’t specifically name Patterson, but he certainly would fit the description of  an explosive play-maker.

If the Carolina Panthers were to draft Cordarrelle Patterson, it would give the Panthers an extra dimension to their game that they’ve been lacking for years. Patterson, combined with Steve Smith, would give Carolina two dynamic play-making wide receivers that would be extremely exciting to watch. In fact, the thought of Patterson and Newton playing together for years to come is enough to make any football fan giddy with excitement.

Patterson has a lot of work to do wherever he ends up. Getting drafted is just the beginning of a NFL career. When game time comes it doesn’t matter if you were drafted first overall or not drafted at all.

Patterson has the talent and ability to be a star at the next level. With some hard work and determination there’s no doubt that he will be a star.


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