Huh? Quinton Patton in the first round? Yes, sir. I absolutely love this player. Let’s start with the numbers:
Those numbers speak for themselves, but what impresses me so much about his high catch total is that he doesn’t drop the ball. As noted above he had 104 catches last season, and per JPSTATS, he had 1 drop:
I hadn’t heard much about Quinton Patton before the Senior Bowl this year. I only knew that he had a monster game against Texas A&M, in which he caught 21 passes for 233 yards and 4 TDs, but I knew very little about his game. Here’s what I thought of Patton after watching him for a week down in Mobile:
(Patton) looked like the most polished receiver at the Senior Bowl this week. He ran great routes, adjusted well to poorly thrown balls, and showed good hands. There was one play where Patton caught a ball on a post pattern, ran away from the CB, turned on the after-burners, split the safeties down the middle, and was gone.
As luck would have it, Patton was asked at the Combine about playing for the Patriots:
“I ain’t got to be around coach Belichick to know that you got to shut up and just get it done. You got to be detail oriented. Just shut up and get it done with him.”
OK, so he’s not the most eloquent speaker, but it seems like he gets the whole “do your job” mantra that Bill Belichick loves so much. Note the Pats’ depth chart at WR here. In a word… Ew.
Patton has nice thickness at 200 pounds, but he’s a little shorter than you’d prefer at 6’0. Additionally, at the Combine, Patton ran a 4.48, which isn’t what you would like to see out of a kid from a small program who only goes 6’0, although I would argue that he “plays faster” than his 40 time.
His production is undeniable, and despite emerging from a smaller program, I think Patton’s assimilation into the pros will be a smooth transition. He’ll also have that non-pampered “over-achiever” quality that NFL teams love. Start him from Day 1 and watch him produce
Confession/disclaimer: This is a selfish “pick with the heart” selection. I like Patton more than most. If the Pats are on the clock here and DeAndre Hopkins is still on the board, my guess is that they’d prefer him over Patton. I like Hopkins too, but I just like Patton more. I’m choosing my heart/gut over my brains on this one. Apologies. It’s my only one.