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NFL Draft

TDN Scouting Roundtable: Evaluating Patrick Johnson, Jaret Patterson

  • The Draft Network
  • July 6, 2020
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It seems like the 2020 NFL Draft just happened, but we move fast here at The Draft Network.

Currently going through summer evaluations for the 2021 NFL Draft class, our scouting team of Kyle Crabbs, Joe Marino, Jordan Reid, and Drae Harris are meeting up every day to discuss prospects, traits, and concepts. New to TDN is a daily scouting roundtable where we go through and identify the most important points of conversation from that day’s meeting.

On Monday, we talked about numerous players, including Tulane’s Patrick Johnson and Buffalo’s Jaret Patterson.

Patrick Johnson, EDGE, Tulane

Tulane isn't always bursting out of the seams with terrific NFL prospects, but just a year after Green Wave wideout Darnell Mooney was selected, it looks like they’ll have another prospect taken this year in Johnson.

Standing at roughly 6-foot-3 and 250 pounds, Johnson isn’t the biggest player, but does a lot of the little things right. Marino pointed out as much in his evaluation of the prospect.

“He plays fast and processes very well,” Marino noted. “He stays at home and doesn’t take false keys or get sucked up by misdirection. (Johnson) also has a strong bull rush and can get under opponents' pads. He has a really nice blend of speed and power.”

Despite these positives, Johnson was missing in several other areas, specifically when it came to his overall physical tools.

“He doesn't play with a ton of extension and isn’t consistent with clearing hands,” Marino noted. “Also, (Johnson) can play in space a bit, but he can’t be a full-time edge at the next level (due to his limited size).”

This “tweener” status is a big sticking point in Johnson’s evaluation, and it makes him a tricky prospect to evaluate as a result. Too light to play down in the dirt, it makes sense to see him as a Sam in a 4-3 at the next level. Unfortunately, he’s never done it before, which means at this point it’s pure projection.

As for a comparison, Marino named Baltimore Ravens linebacker Tyus Bowser as a best-case scenario for Johnson.

Jaret Patterson, RB, Buffalo

Unlike Johnson, Patterson clearly translates to the next level, even if it may not be at a highly valued position.

Winning nearly every accolade since he stepped foot on Buffalo’s campus, the ball-carrier is a do-it-all runner with exceptional short-area quickness. Although he’s not the fastest long speed player, he has what it takes to make it in the pros. In fact, after watching his tape and completing a report, Reid is quite sure of it.

“He really stood out against Penn State,” Reid noted. “He’s got a compact build and is highly effective between the tackles and in tight spaces. No, (Patterson) doesn’t have a lot of gears to his speed package, but he has sufficient contact balance and can create extra opportunities on a routine basis.”

It’s this tough and tenacious style, combined with his underrated receiving skills, that makes Reid so bullish on the Buffalo prospect. Citing that he’s an “easy hands-catcher who is flexed out in the slot and frequently used in the passing game,” Reid highlighted that he currently grades Patterson with a top-100 ranking, citing there’s room to grow with a strong 2020 season.

One name he brought up in comparison to the 5-foot-9, 195-pound back? Buffalo Bills running back Devin Singletary.

Players Evaluated:  Patrick Johnson EDGE Tulane, Ka’Darius Toney WR Florida, Jack Sanborn LB Wisconsin, Jaret Patterson RB Buffalo, Jake Bentley QB Utah, DeAngelo Malone EDGE Western Kentucky, Dicaprio Bootle CB Nebraska, Kary Vincent DB LSU, Elerson Smith EDGE Northern Iowa, Antjuan Simmons LB Michigan State, Rodarius Williams CB Oklahoma State

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