The Atlanta Falcons struck gold when they signed Cordarrelle Patterson to a one-year free agent deal before the 2021 season.
He had career highs in rushing and receiving yards in what was his ninth season in the NFL. He was drafted in the first round by the Minnesota Vikings in 2013, but had been relegated to an ace-return man for much of his career.
Falcons head coach Arthur Smith helped unlock the potential of the 6’2 and 225 pound athlete by giving him more of a role at running back. Patterson led the team in rushing and receiving touchdowns and signed three-year deal prior to last season.
The player in the NFL Draft this year that most resembles Patterson is wide receiver Jonathan Mingo of Ole Miss. Mingo measured 6’1 and 3/4″ and 220 pounds. He has big, sticky 10 3/8″ hands and ripped off a 4.46 forty-yard dash at the NFL Combine with a 39.5″ vertical leap.
He had 51 catches for 861 yards and five touchdowns last year at Ole Miss. He wasn’t used to run the ball while with the Rebels, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be used as a weapon out of the backfield.
Mingo has the frame and build like Patterson and is a threat after the catch. The San Francisco 49ers found great success using Deebo Samuel like Patterson in the second half of the 2021 season. Samuel had just 25 carries in his four-year South Carolina career.
Big, strong slot receiver possessing the mental and physical toughness to outperform his speed limitations. The career production is nothing special, but it’s clear he’s put time and effort into his craft. He runs crisp, well-paced routes and ramps up his focus when it’s time to go get the football. A lack of separation burst and long speed could make for more contested catches, but he has the body type and willingness for that work. Mingo can get tough yards after the catch and is an above-average blocker. He has the skill level and demeanor to become a starting slot receiver for teams using 11 personnel (three WRs) as their base offense. — Lance Zierline, NFL.com
It’s easy to make the mental leap from Patterson to Mingo when watching him in action. He’s big and strong, and he’s a menace after the catch. NFL Mock Draft Database has Mingo as the No. 166 player in the NFL Draft this year.
I think that’s woefully underrated for Mingo.
Patterson is 32-years old and has two years left on his three-year deal. The Falcons have four picks between No. 75 and No. 159.
If they’re looking for another Cordarrelle Patterson, they’d do well to snag Mingo with one of those picks.