COMMENTARY | When the Minnesota Vikings drafted Cordarrelle Patterson with the 29th pick in the 2013 NFL draft, everyone envisioned the elusive receiver to have an immediate impact on both offense and special teams.
Patterson has already shown his explosive ability on kick returns as he housed the opening kickoff against the Bears. The 105-yard touchdown return tied former Viking Percy Harvin for the longest play in team history. The return also tied for the fourth-longest play by a rookie in NFL history.
Despite his gifted abilities, the Vikings have yet to find sufficient offensive snaps for the talented rookie. Through the first two games of the 2013 season, Patterson has been on the field for only 11 offensive snaps - five against the Lions and six against the Bears. The Vikings had clear intentions to get Patterson on the field as often as possible against the Bears.
"We're going to try to get him a few more snaps," Frazier said the day after the loss to the Lions. "But we have to get a few more first downs so we can stay on the field a little bit longer with our offense. But we want to get him more snaps for sure."
The Vikings, more specifically offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave, failed to increase the reps for the 22-year-old receiver from Tennessee. Now for the second straight week, Frazier admits the Vikings need to fix that issue.
"We're going to get that rectified," Frazier said when asked about Patterson's playing time. "He definitely deserves to be on the field more."
So how does Patterson compare to other high draft pick wide receivers? Here are some stats:
Tavon Austin (8th overall): 99 snaps - 12 receptions, 88 yards, 2 Touchdowns
DeAndre Hopkins (27th overall): 136 snaps - 12 receptions, 183 yards, 1 touchdown
Cordarrelle Patterson (29th overall): 11 snaps - 3 receptions, 24 yards, 0 touchdowns
Robert Woods (41st overall): 132 snaps - 5 receptions, 86 yards, 1 touchdown
Aaron Dobson (59th overall): 33 snaps - 3 receptions, 56 yards, 1 touchdown
The only high draft pick that has less snaps than Patterson is Tennessee Titans' second-round pick Justin Hunter. So far this season, Hunter has played in only eight snaps. All those snaps coming in the Titans second game against the Houston Texans.
It is inexcusable for the Vikings to have a high draft pick and talented player sitting on the bench. Patterson did not play a down in the fourth quarter against the Bears and only played two snaps in the second half. Converted receiver Joe Webb got one more snap than Patterson for the second week in a row.
The Vikings have the ability to use Patterson's unique skill set in numerous different ways, but so far they have failed to adequately use Patterson to their advantage. All of Patterson's three receptions have been completed behind the line of scrimmage. Patterson has not been used in the running game or as a deep threat, and that needs to change. The Vikings can't afford to have one of the most talented athlete on the team waiting his turn.
As far as Frazier is concerned, this should not be up for debate after the Browns game.
"Hopefully, everything being equal, that should not be a part of the conversation next week," Frazier said.
All quotes obtained from live press conference
Dennis Parsons is a Minnesota-area sportswriter covering the Minnesota Vikings for Vikings Central. He previously covered all Minnesota professional sports teams for Minnesota Sports News Nightly . You can email him at email@example.com or follow him on twitter @Parsons_VC.
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