Of the in-house free agents that the Minnesota Vikings will have to deal with during this offseason, one of the more intriguing ones will be wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson. Patterson had taken up permanent residence in the doghouse during the first two seasons of the Mike Zimmer regime, but had a nice little renaissance this past season. He caught 52 passes this season (after just two catches in 2015) while maintaining his status as the league’s best kickoff return specialist.
“I would love to play running back,” Cordarrelle said. “I think any receiver in my position would like to play running back. People always say, ‘he’s just a running back when he gets the ball in his hands.’”
Patterson’s quote came from a question where Green Bay Packers’ receiver/running back Ty Montgomery came up. Montgomery experienced some success as a running back for the Packers when injuries forced him into the backfield. He carried the ball 77 times for 457 yards and three scores this past season. Patterson does have a 10.7 yards/carry average in his career, but it would obviously be a different thing if he changed positions.
Cordarrelle Patterson is one of the league’s most dynamic players with the football in his hands, and any way to potentially get him more touches should be viewed as a positive. He also has a pretty violent running style, as we’ve seen him lower his shoulder into defenders after the catch in the past. The Vikings’ offense is a lot better if Patterson is a significant part of it, and if the team does bring him back, it appears that he’s going to be lobbying to get the ball in his hands more frequently.
Do you think the Vikings could shift Patterson to running back?