When Vol fans watched Cordarrelle Patterson play his first game for Tennessee in 2012 against NC State, they immediately knew he was a special player.
Patterson spent one year as a Vol, but provided four years worth of highlight reel material. The talented wide receiver declared for the NFL draft and was selected with the 29th overall pick by the Minnesota Vikings.
The former Vol immediately made an impact on special teams, returning a kick-off 105 yards for a touchdown in his second career game. Patterson added a 109 yard touchdown on a kick return on October 27.
As the season wore on, Patterson began to have an even larger role on offense. Patterson scored his first offensive touchdown on November 7 against the Washington Redskins on a two-yard touchdown reception.
On December 8, Patterson had a breakout performance against the Baltimore Ravens, catching five passes for 141 yards and a touchdown.
Throughout the season, Patterson showed the same incredible open-field skills that he displayed at Tennessee. Patterson had touchdown RUNS of 33, 35 and 50 yards over the last five weeks of the season.
Cordarrelle Patterson finished his rookie campaign with 45 receptions for 469 yards and four touchdowns. He also had 158 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 12 attempts. Patterson had nine total touchdowns on the season.
And if that wasn’t enough? Patterson set a Vikings record for most kick-off return yards in a season with 1,393.
Those numbers and Patterson’s electric performance should be more than enough to thrust him to the forefront of the rookie of the year competition.
Eddie Lacy — RB — Green Bay Packers
1,178 rushing yards — 11 rushing TD’s — 35 receptions — 257 receiving yards
Keenan Allen — WR — San Diego Chargers
71 receptions — 1,046 yards — 8 receiving TD’s
DeAndre Hopkins — WR — Houston Texans
52 receptions — 802 yards — 2 receiving TD’s
Tavon Austin — WR — St. Louis Rams
40 receptions — 418 yards — 4 receiving TD’s — 151 rushing yards — 1 rushing TD