2021 NFL Draft Profile: RB Jaret Patterson
If you follow college football at all, you most likely will recognize Jaret Patterson’s name. Although he played at a small school in Buffalo, Patterson caught the attention of the nation back in November 2020 with a dominant performance against Kent State.
In that game, Patterson totaled 409 yards and eight touchdowns. Kent State didn’t have an answer for him, and he put up one of the most memorable performances by a running back in college football history. From this standout game, Patterson has lodged himself in the casual NFL Draft fan’s mind as a player that their favorite team has to draft, but should that be the case?
Does Patterson have what it takes to be an NFL running back? Should he be someone that you target in your Dynasty rookie drafts?
These questions are answered here in our scouting profile on Jaret Patterson:
Weight: 195 lbs.
Arms: 28 3/4
40-Yard Dash: 4.54
Bench Press: 19 reps
Vertical Jump: 30 inches
Broad Jump: 117 inches
Short Shuttle: 4.35
3-Cone Drill: 7.03
Skills Breakdown (out of 100)
Vision (77): Patterson is a smart and instinctive runner that wins with active feet at the line of scrimmage. His feet are constantly churning, which helps set him up in great positions to explode through running lanes. Excellent vision in between the tackles and consistently creates positive yardage for himself through good decision-making.
Burst (76): Lacks elite burst but has more than enough to be serviceable in the NFL. Runs decisively and has enough burst to explode through the hole when it opens up.
Change of Direction (75.5): Good lateral mobility through active footwork, but he does have a hard time throttling down his momentum in the open field to shift side-to-side.
Power (73): Has the willingness to engage in contact and lower his shoulder in the open field. Might not have as much effectiveness against NFL-caliber defenders but certainly doesn’t shy away from contact.
Speed (75): Shows good top-end speed on tape and consistently breaks away for long touchdown runs. Against NFL-caliber defenders, his speed might not be as effective, and he’ll certainly get caught from behind. With his listed weight being under 200, you’d like to see more straight-line speed, but this is also not how he’ll be asked to win in the NFL.
Contact Balance (76.5): Good contact balance and consistently breaks out of arm tackles. Hard to decipher whether or not this was due to the below-average defenses that he played against on tape or due to natural ability. However, he can get knocked and keep his feet underneath him.
Pass Catching (70): Had zero receptions in the games that I watched, which is concerning for his projection at the next level. Did show natural receiving ability in the 2019 tape that I watched, but no involvement as a receiver in college is concerning for projecting him at the next level.
Pass Protection (68): Willing to stand in in pass protection. Doesn’t have the size to hold off blitzing players but shows the desire to stand in and help protect his quarterback. Overall, Patterson’s production should have him in the early Day 3 conversation. However, there are size concerns, and he’ll most likely end up as part of a rotation at the next level. The instincts and technique are evident on tape, but the lack of elite athleticism is unlikely to vault him into the starting running back conversation at any point in his career.
JARET PATTERSON’S 8TH TD
TIES THE FBS RECORD
– PFF Draft (@PFF_College) November 28, 2020
Jaret Patterson: 1,789 rush yards AFTER contact since 2019
1st in College Football????
– PFF Draft (@PFF_College) March 29, 2021
They Said It
Projected Draft Range
With Patterson weighing in under 200 pounds, plus the poor testing numbers, it’s really difficult to see how any team takes him before Day 3. His skill set doesn’t match the role that he’ll most likely be projected to in the NFL, but he could still be productive if he gets the opportunity. It’s simply hard to see how an NFL team spends premium draft capital on him. Expect Patterson to go off the board in Round 5 or later.
Ideal Fantasy Landing Spot
Due to the unknowns with Patterson’s projection to the NFL, it’s difficult to determine his ideal landing spot. He has the size to be a change-of-pace or receiving back in the NFL, but he doesn’t have the athleticism or pass-catching ability to match that. Patterson will have to land as a depth piece and work his way up an NFL depth chart.
Eno Benjamin had some buzz coming out last year, but he didn’t have the athletic profile that warranted a high pick. They run very similarly, are a near-identical size, and will most likely follow similar paths into the NFL.
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