This isn't the first time we've mentioned the "Making the Leap" series that NFL.com has been doing for the past few weeks. Two members of the Minnesota Vikings have appeared on it, with cornerback Xavier Rhodes coming in at #24 and defensive lineman Everson Griffen showing up at #13.
Well, NFL.com has finished up their list, and there's a Viking occupying the top spot, as we have another outlet that's looking for big things this year from wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson.
Kevin Patra, who wrote the article for NFL.com, kind of thinks Patterson might be sort of special.
The 6-foot-2 dynamo is an amalgam of Devin Hester, Demaryius Thomas, Julio Jones, Spiderman and the Road Runner.
So, if you're scoring at home, that's two of the NFL's best receivers, possibly the best return specialist in the history of the league, a superhero, and an invincible cartoon character. Maybe a little bit of hyperbole, but we'll accept that.
The article points out how one of Patterson's new teammates can see the second-year receiver making the transformation.
"The time we played them, he was nothing like he is now,'' cornerback Captain Munnerlyn recently said. "I told him, 'The time we played you, I'm glad we caught you early.' Because if we hadn't have caught him early, he was tearing people up at the end up the year.
"He's really growing as a receiver, and I'm seeing it with my own two eyes.''
The article also shows a lot of Patterson's highlights from last season, pointing out things like how ten of Patterson's 12 carries came in the final five games of the season, after it "finally dawned on offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave to get the ball into his hands in any way possible." Thankfully, that isn't going to be an issue with Norv Turner at the controls in 2014.
Patra concludes by saying that it isn't out of the question for Patterson to wind up with 70 catches and 1,100 yards in 2014. That would be the most yards by a Vikings receiver since Sidney Rice rang up 1,312 yards in 2009.
Just watching the Patterson highlights has me even more pumped up. . .as though that's possible. . .for the 2014 season to get underway. Despite what a lot of the pre-season prognostications might have you believe, this team has plenty of talent, and most of it is still fairly young. This team is going to surprise people in 2014, and it should be a hell of a lot more fun to watch than 2013 was.
It all starts in two weeks, folks.