The Minnesota Vikings needed a playmaking wide receiver. The New England Patriots wanted to come up with more draft picks. Both teams found what they were looking for late in the first round, as the Vikings traded picks 52, 83, 102 and 229 to New England for the 29th pick, which Minnesota then used on talented Tennessee receiver Cordarrelle Patterson.
The Vikings used their original two picks in Round 1 on defenders: DT Sharrif Floyd and CB Xavier Rhodes. Patterson might be the missing piece on the other side of the football, where Minnesota lost Percy Harvin in a trade and added Greg Jennings.
Patterson's stock appeared to be trending downward heading into the draft, following reports of poor one-on-one interviews with teams. But Patterson's talent was obvious during his short stay at Tennessee -- he started his college career in the JUCO ranks.
The biggest football-related knock on Patterson is that he's simply not a very polished route-runner. That may improve in time, but the Vikings gave up a ton of value to move to the 29th spot. Unless Patterson steps in right away and helps erase the memory of Harvin, it'll be hard for Vikings fans to feel that great about this one.
The good news is that Patterson is capable of filling a Harvin-esque role. Christian Ponder's task -- and that of the Vikings' coaching staff -- will be to get him the football in space and let him do his thing. Grade: C-plus. Trying to properly weigh the Vikings' need for a talented receiver like Patterson vs. what it cost to get him. If Patterson's as good as his talent hints that he could be, the Vikings won't mind the price they paid. Until then, this is a definite gamble.