Monday, January 28, 2013
The SEC's best 25 players: No. 21
By Chris Low
We resume our countdown of the 25 best players in the SEC in 2012 with the top junior college transfer in the league.
No. 21: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee, Jr.
2012 summary: Patterson was a first-team All-SEC selection as an all-purpose player by both the coaches and the media. He led the SEC in all-purpose yardage with an average of 154.8 yards per game, which was nearly 30 yards more per game than the No. 2 player on that list. Patterson caught 46 passes for 778 yards and five touchdowns. He also had three rushing touchdowns and returned a kickoff and a punt for touchdowns.
Most recent ranking: Not ranked in the 2012 preseason countdown.
Making the case for Patterson: Easily one of the most electrifying players in the league, Patterson was a threat to score every time he touched the ball. He scored touchdowns four different ways -- rushing, receiving, returning a kickoff and returning a punt. He wasn't the most polished route-runner and was overall pretty raw after transferring from Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College. Even so, the 6-foot-3, 210-pound Patterson emerged as one of the top big-play threats in the SEC. He averaged 16.9 yards per catch and had five touchdowns that were longer than 40 yards. Patterson, used some on reverses and occasionally as a running back, rushed for 308 yards and averaged 12.3 yards per carry. He combined great speed with the ability to change directions to become one of the most feared open-field runners in the league. Seven of his 10 touchdowns came against SEC competition. Two others came against North Carolina State in the season-opening win over the Wolfpack. The bummer for the Vols is that they only had him for 12 games. Patterson's upside is immense, especially once he becomes a better route-runner. He declared early for the NFL draft and is projected as a first-round selection.
- No. 22: Mike Gillislee, RB, Florida, Sr.
- No. 23: Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt, Jr.
- No. 24: Matt Elam, S, Florida, Jr.
- No. 25: Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State, Sr.