Sometimes the most talented players in the world fall by the wayside, only because they never have a proper mentor.
Former Vols wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson won’t have that excuse if he fails to live up to expectations with the Minnesota Vikings.
Greg Jennings, who’s also new to the Vikings. has been readily accessible to Patterson and willing to take him under his wing.
Jennings has been praised by Patterson for his accessibility, as well as by former Green Bay Packers teammate and University of Kentucky standout, Randall Cobb who said:
To have a guy come in like Greg and show you the ropes in every way made it a lot easier – Reggie Cobb, Star Tribune
Having an established veteran that is willing to step up and help young receivers makes Jennings way more valuable to the Vikings than they probably imagined he would be upon his signing.
It’s important not to understate the incredible influence that Jennings could have on Patterson’s career.
Patterson is a talented, but very raw receiver. Especially after playing only one season at Tennessee, against SEC competition. It will be Jennings’ responsibility to teach Patterson how to handle himself off the field, how to study and how to prepare for games.
That’s typically not something any veteran receiver wants thrown on them, especially when signing with a new team, but Jennings is more than up for the role of mentor.
In fact he embraces it, at least according to Patterson’s comments earlier this off-season.
Every day at practice he [Jennings] has something good to tell me, I just take in the locker room and then think about it every night. I wake up in the morning, just ready to meet him every day at practice. – Cordarrelle Patterson
The Vikings vastly improved the depth of their receiving corps with the addition of Jennings and Patterson. That’s something they desperately needed, especially after Percy Harvin was traded to the Seattle Seahawks. Which means there will be plenty of oppurtunity for the former Tennessee Volunteer.
If Patterson is willing to listen to Jennings’ advice, and apply it, there’s no telling how good he could be in his rookie season.
Patterson is as a good with the ball in his hands as anyone in this year’s draft.
Hopefully for the Vikings, Greg Jennings can provide Patterson with the guidance he needs to first get the ball in his hands.
For more on former Vols in the NFL, make sure to follow along on Twitter @ZachAFT and @AllforTennessee