Here at Niners Nation, we're presenting a series called "90-in-90". We'll be looking at every player on the 49ers offseason roster, one player per post, from now until the start of training camp. Technically there are only 89 players currently on the roster right now, and we know it's not exactly 90 days until camp...but "90-in-90" just sounds too cool to get caught up the in details!
The 49ers drafted wide receiver Quinton Patton, formerly of Louisiana Tech, in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Patton was a highly productive player in college, despite his lack of elite size and speed, and appears eager to continue proving people wrong about these perceived obstacles. He was so eager, in fact, that he tried to show up to the 49ers facility before rookie mini-camps in order to get his training started with the team.
As you may or may not know, the NFL only allows drafted players to visit their teams during the 24 hours immediately following their selection, and then not again until the specified times for rookie mini-camps. As such, Patton had to turn around and fly back home without so much as shaking Jim Harbaugh's hand. He did return for the official rookie mini-camp, though, and has looked solid in the un-padded practices thus far.
In two seasons with the Bulldogs, Patton put up impressive numbers even for a guy facing some "lesser" competition:
2011: 79 rec, 1202 yds, 11 TD
2012: 104 rec, 1392 yds, 13 TD
One of Patton's biggest games, in fact, was versus a very good Texas A&M team, led by Heisman Trophy winner Johnny "Football" Manziel. Below are the highlights from that game, during which Patton showed his skills running the fade route numerous times.
Expected 2013 impact:
It would be hard to expect Patton, right out of the gate as a rookie in 2013, to put up the same kind of numbers he posted in college. I do think he has the ability to eventually be the same type of game-changing player if he works hard at his NFL game, which we all know is bigger, stronger, faster and smarter. In 2013 I expect him to be the third/fourth wide receiver unless an injury to a starter forces him into a larger role. I'd expect him to catch at least one pass per game, and maybe two or three in some games. In fact, I think he'll have a season similar to that of Kyle Williams over the last few years (obviously before his injury).
Odds of making the roster:
I may be just one man, and this is certainly my opinion only, but I think Patton is a lock to make the roster. He's a special talent at wide receiver, even if his measurables don't scream "ELITE!" He has a knack for getting open and making tough catches. The kid has enormous heart, too, and that goes a long way on this team. I look forward to cheering for him come Sundays this fall.