2013 NFL Draft: Quinton Patton Scouting Report
In one of the deepest wide receiver classes in recent memory, teams are going to have their pick of some excellent talent in the second and third rounds. Quinton Patton isn’t one of the sexier names in the class, but his skill set projects extremely well to the next level. He doesn’t have the measurables or athletic upside of a player like Cordarrelle Patterson. He’s only 6’0” and slightly above 200 pounds. His vertical jump was “only” 33” and his broad jump was only 9’10”. He’s not a combine warrior, but he’s mastered much of the nuance of the wide receiver position, so his NFL learning curve won’t be steep, and he’ll have a high floor, even as a rookie.
“The General,” as he’s known by his teammates and fans, was the leading target in the highest-scoring offense in the nation in 2012. Louisiana Tech averaged 51.5 points per game, and Patton’s 104 receptions for 1,392 yards and 13 touchdowns placed him among the best wide receivers in the country.
He was only with the Bulldogs for two years after joining them as a top JUCO recruit. He totalled 183 career receptions for 2,594 yards and 24 touchdowns. He was a first-team all-conference player as a junior, and he earned second-team All-American honors as Louisiana Tech stormed to a conference title in his senior year. He turned heads at the Senior Bowl, and his combine workouts were sharp and polished.
Routes/Open Field: Patton is a fantastic route runner. He has sneaky short-area quicks, and he knows exactly how to set up defenders with body and head fakes. Though he’s not the biggest receiver, he does well against press coverage due to his abruptness off the line. He’s also not a pure speed guy, his ability to separate with his routes and track the ball over his shoulder will be an asset. His ability with the ball in his hands is severely underrated. He used his agility and vision to average over six yards after the catch on the year, second only to Stedman Bailey.
Body Control/Blocking: He can create separation at the catch point, and he’s physical and aggressive enough to out-battle a cornerback for the ball. He’s a natural hands catcher. His long arms and large hands aid in snatching the ball out of the air away from his body, and he had multiple highlight-reel acrobatic catches in college. He’s also a willing and talented downfield blocker, which will appeal to a team that values running the football.
Personality/Character: He has compared his personality and mentality to Chad Johnson, aka Ochocinco, aka Johnson. He’s an incredibly motivated, hard worker, and he’s a big trash talker. The entire locker room voiced their respect for him, and his coaches raved about his work ethic. When he and a teammate were awarded Best Buy gift certificates for their bowl game performances, they donated them to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Speed: Though he ran in the 4.4’s at the combine, his top speed isn’t an asset. He was often run down on long runs, and if college defensive backs can do that, it’ll happen in the NFL. He’ll never be Mike Wallace. He’ll make his living like Reggie Wayne or Greg Jennings, with his polished routes and reliable hands.
Versatility: In every game I’ve seen of him, he always lined up on the offensive right. He doesn’t have much experience (if any) in the slot or moving around the formation, so that’ll contribute to his learning curve in the NFL.
In another year, he might merit a first-round pick. He still could this year, since any team could fall for any player between the 20th and 60th picks. But he profiles like a solid second-round prospect: somewhat limited ceiling, but with a high floor and an NFL-ready game. He’s just the type of receiver that Green Bay has landed in the second round in the past, like Jordy Nelson.
He’d be a good fit there, as well as with Denver and Houston. Seattle has also shown strong interest in him, but it’d be a pretty big surprise if he dropped all the way to the Seahawks’ pick at 56th overall. He’ll likely end up between the 30th and 45th picks, like Reggie Wayne, and in a few years, maybe people will wonder why any wide receiver was drafted before him.