Originally posted on Optimum Scouting  |  Last updated 4/6/13

"Ideal for a West Coast-focused offense that is willing to stretch vertically, Patton developed great chemistry with Colby Cameron at Louisiana Tech, and could develop that quickly at the NFL level to become a quarterback's favorite target, especially on timing routes. With a fun, team-spirited personality, he quickly becomes a favorite in the locker room, but leaves that off the field and rarely shows significant (including negative) emotion on the field as an outside receiver.

While his lack of elite size or deep speed may limit how teams view his upside as a potential Top 20 pick, Patton should have a very long NFL career, and could be a higher-upside and more initially polished version of Greg Jennings."

 

This is a Full Scouting Report done for our 2013 NFL Draft Guide. We'll be previewing a handful of our reports before the Guide is finished and published on April 8th. If you'd like to be on the email list to pre-order, my email is EricG@OptimumScouting. Reserve your on-line copy today!



GAMES VIEWED MEASURABLES Texas A&M, TCU (2011), Utah State, Rice
Senior Bowl Practices Height 6000 Weight 204 40 Time 4.53
Bench 8 Vertical 33.0 Broad 9'10 PLAYER COMPARISON Greg Jennings PROJ. DRAFT POSITION Top 40 INJURY HISTORY  No Major Injuries in Career
CAREER ACOLADES KEY STATS Biletnikoff Award Watch-List in 2011, 2012 74 catches, 1202 yards, 11 TDs in 2011 "Best WR ever played against" -Jonthan Banks 104 catches, 1392 yards,  13 TDs in 2012   6 KRs for 98 yards, 13 PRs for 27 yards in 2011   70 career punts at the JUCO level (2009, 2010)

BACKGROUND
Born in Tennessee, he'll be 23 as a rookie. He was forced to the JUCO route due to poor academic standing, where he was team MVP in 2010, including the team's full time punter in 2010. Patton immediately began to produce once enrolled at LaTech (chose over Minnesota, USF) in 2011. His academic standing is to graduate this summer, though that will on hold indefinitely until his NFL future is figured out. Working directly with QB Colby Cameron in play call, Patton and Cameron had significant control of play call and game planning in-game. A vocal and vibrant leader, Patton possesses a contagious personality that, off the field, inspires and loosens his teammates. With a wide smile and engaging personality, Patton will fit well at the next level in locker rooms, with the ability to adapt his personality to those around him. Not an issue on the field, Patton displayed no actions of "diva personality" actions, and remained humble and quiet throughout the season despite fighting for national attention and being shunned from a bowl game. During the Poinsettia Bowl in 2011, he made national news for giving a bowl game gift to the Make-A-Wish foundation.

ATHLETICISM
With good, not great vertical speed, Patton makes up for it with elite short area athleticism, balance, and body control throughout his game as a receiver. Partially thanks to technique work as well, he controls his steps at an elite level, utilizing little if any wasted motion when working down field, and transitioning from his breaks cleanly, decisively, and in position to adjust to the ball/defender with ease. Patton naturally adjusts his body to the ball well, showcasing elite vision of the ball, timing in his reaction and jumps, and positioning his body well to extend away from himself or to work away from a defender to high-point/extend away to make a reception. In the open field with the ball, Patton utilizes quick cuts from his upper half manuevers, and cuts laterally well when working up field. His balance and quick, decisive steps allow him to gather himself quickly after a catch and work upfield in ideal running position. He could bulk up a bit for the next level, but he already has a polished upper half. He'll struggle to consistently win jump balls like he did at the college level due to lack of ideal height, but that height shouldn't affect him in other facets of his game.

RUNNING-ABILITY
Patton lacks sudden, vertical speed to separate in that area in the NFL on a consistent basis, but possess the balance and body control to quickly pick up speed and run past defenses at the next level with the ball in his hands. More decisive that quick, Patton has developed running maneuvers to evade laterally, especially in the screen or off-coverage hitch routes. Without great with-ball quickness, Patton may lack to consistently evade NFL safeties and cornerbacks in the open field, but positions his body well to avoid big hits and work ahead into traffic to pick up extra yards. He possess great vision and anticipation as a runner, rarely being forced backwards, as he quickly evaluates and begins to maneuver and position to gain positive yardage. He doesn't explode at a great level in the open field, but it's his consistently good pad level and decisive steps that allow him to burst into open field and utilize the adequate explosive bursts he possess.

RECEIVING-CATCHING
One of the most polished catch-point receivers in recent years, Patton finishes catches at an elite level vs. man coverage, and worked at a near elite level when he and his quarterback were on the same page. Possessing wide enough hands, he tracks the ball very well in the short area, and for the most part, consistently looks the ball in. He extends away from his body at an elite level while maintaining his footwork and working away from the defender. He's able to adjust off his route in quick, timing throws, working well to maneuver himself to give his quarterback an ideal throwing lane, while maintain tight, decisive steps. Not an ideally built jump ball receiver, it's his ability to high point, vertical body control, and subtle hand placement against defenders that allow him to win one on one matchups. While he can work physically down the field, he doesn't have ideal upper body strength to shake off physical downfield corners, but does have a good understanding of subtle hand fighting ability, and he can adjust his body late in his route at an elite level.

RECEIVING-TECHNIQUE
An extremely polished route runner, Patton has consistently controlled defensive backs with his natural separation due to his route running. A decisive cutter, Patton controls his steps at an elite level, and rarely losees balance, leverage, or body control throughout his route tree. He eats cushion well in comeback routes, timing his cuts and showing patience before making his break. He slips his hands well when working on interior routes, and redirects his body well on deep post and corner routes to gain seperation. His vertical routes weren't tested as well as would be ideal thanks to his quarterback floating too many passes, but shows the timing and burst to work 9-routes at an NFL level despite not having elite top end speed. He's shown the initial hand strength and lateral quickness to get off press coverage, but still could utilize better upper body strength to consistently win as an X receiver. As a blocker, he fights well upfield, keeping focus on his blocks and reacting and redirectly to the flow of the ball well downfield.

SUMMARY
One of the most decisive receivers in recent history, Patton makes up for his lack of ideal size, long-speed, or wide-area athleticism with elite routes, body control, timing, and anticipation. Capable of becoming an NFL elite receiver, Patton produced at an elite level in just two years at Louisiana Tech, working against top defenses and producing, such as Texas A&M in 2012 (one of his best career games) and match-up up with Jonthan Banks of Mississippi State and succeeding. With his decisive footwork and route breaks, Patton is able to  get natural separation through his routes, as he eats cushion and anticipates the defensive back and his route very well. Running a variety of routes in select games, Patton showcases the ability to work vertically, though his quarterback didn't always showcase a big arm, as well as utilizing compact, tight steps to work in shorter and comeback routes at an elite level. Able to extend away from his body, Patton finishes catches with great high-point timing, reaction to the throw on timing routes, and fantastic body control to maneuver and adjust to his quarterbacks throw. He's also shown experience and with-ball moves as a hitch/screen receiver, and though he lacks ideal deep speed to consistently be effective, he's elusive in the short area and is able to consistently pick up yards in traffic. Also as a runner, especially on in-breaking routes, he stays balance and flexible to gather himself and pick up speed quickly, utilizing great runner vision to work after the catch. Ideal for a West Coast-focused offense that is willing to stretch vertically, Patton developed great chemistry with Colby Cameron at Louisiana Tech, and could develop that quickly at the NFL level to become a quarterback's favorite target, especially on timing routes. With a fun, team-spirited personality, he quickly becomes a favorite in the locker room, but leaves that off the field and rarely shows significant (including negative) emotion on the field as an outside receiver. While his lack of elite size or deep speed may limit how teams view his upside as a potential Top 20 pick, Patton should have a very long NFL career, and could be a higher-upside and more initially polished version of Greg Jennings.

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