What the Cordarrelle Patterson Signing Means for the Oakland Raiders

August 8, 2014: Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson (84) runs for first down in preseason match between the Oakland Raiders and the Minnesota Vikings at TFC Bank Stadium in Minneapolis Minnesota.
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After being silent for most of free agency, the Oakland Raiders made a splash on Monday night, signing wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson. Patterson had spent the first four years of his NFL career with the Minnesota Vikings, and while he was an explosive returner, he had his struggles as a receiver. So what does his signing mean for the Raiders?

What the Cordarrelle Patterson Signing Means for the Oakland Raiders

Who Is He?

Who is Cordarrelle Patterson? A first round pick in 2013, Patterson is an explosive wide receiver that’s been a bit of a letdown. Despite being taken as highly as he was, Patterson has never had more than 52 catches or 469 yards. He failed to become the number one receiver that the Vikings expected him to be, and became a bit of a gimmick player.

The Vikings actually had Patterson line up in the backfield like a tailback 31 times in his tenure with the team. On those carries, he rushed for 333 yards and four touchdowns. But Patterson’s success hasn’t come on offense, it’s come as a returner.

Patterson averages a little over 1,000 yards a season, and has ran five kickoffs back for touchdowns. In a sad bit of irony, Patterson actually scored on a kick return against the Oakland Raiders back in 2015.

Patterson is a fast, shifty playmaker, and is deadly in open space. However, he’s not an exceptionally consistent or reliable receiver. He isn’t the best route runner, and sometimes he relies on body catches too much. He’s not going to come in and replace Michael Crabtree, but he could be after someone else’s job.

The Third Man

Seth Roberts had the fourth highest drop percentage of players that were targeted at least 50 times. He seemed to completely disappear at points, and his lapses of bad play weren’t enough to compensate for the occasional clutch catch. The reality is that the Oakland Raiders could use an upgrade at the position. Ryan Switzer has been a trendy draft pick, but with all of the defensive needs, the draft will be tight.

Cordarrelle Patterson’s numbers aren’t impressive, but he’s also never played with anyone like Derek Carr before. Maybe in the new offense, as the third receiver, he can thrive. If he becomes a big playmaker for the Silver and Black, it’ll give Carr another option while taking pressure off of Crabtree and Amari Cooper.

Field Position

The best thing that Patterson brings to the Raiders is his returning ability. He’s had the highest kickoff return average in the NFL over the last two seasons. If Patterson brings that edge to the Oakland Raiders, he can help the offense and the defense.

Patterson’s career kickoff average hovers around 30 yards. That would mean that the Oakland Raiders start with pretty great field position almost every time. The Raiders start with the ball closer to midfield, and even if they struggle, they have Marquette King to pin opposing offenses deep. Shorter drives for the Raiders and longer drives for their opponents can only be a good thing.


At the very least, Cordarrelle Patterson provides the Oakland offense with a little depth. He was drafted with a first round pick, and he still has all the talent that got his name called on day one. He’s a solid replacement for Andre Holmes at the very worst, and he’s a big play threat at the most. Either way, it was solid signing for the Silver and Black.