The Pittsburgh Steelers are headed for a massive salary cap purge to the tune of close to $14 million. At this point, which veterans will be released is unclear, as those names could include standouts such as James Harrison, Ryan Clark or even Troy Polamalu. Any major change such as that can and will influence the plan of attack for the draft. As those things clear, Steelers101 will break down the impact, and try to decipher what direction the team will go. Until then, we will continue our focus on the wide receiver position, as the lack playmakers could surface if the team does in fact lose Mike Wallace to free agency.NFL Draft profiles, we will break down one of the top rated wide receivers in this class, Tennessee wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson. The position rankings should become clear after the combine, as this is one of the more fluid areas of the draft.
The 6-3, 205-pound wide out has a tremendous skill set and possibly more importantly is still developing as a receiver. Patterson is a physical wide out, who understands how to use his size and athleticism to gain separation and make the tough catch. Complete with solid hands, deceptive speed and a high football acumen he could easily develop into a number one wide receiver in the NFL.
While his numbers in 2012 were not eye popping, 46 receptions for 778 yards and 5 touchdowns, he proved he was dangerous any time he had the ball in his hands. He is a dynamic return man that set the record for all-purpose yards in a season with 1,858 and added five more touchdowns as a rusher or returner. Patterson does lack a ton of experience in major college football after transferring to Tennessee from Hutchinson Community College where he was a record setting receiver. During his career in the JUCO ranks, he was a man among boys, recording 113 receptions, for 1,832 yards and 36 total touchdowns.
Often compared to Julio Jones or Dwayne Bowe (with return skills), after only one season at Tennessee, he is raw and is still a work in progress with his route tree, but could come in and make an impact early. Especially for a team that could use a solid Red Zone target and return man.
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