As you know the San Francisco 49ers once again elected to pass up on a tier No. 1 wide-receiver in a very deep wide-receiver draft class for the second consecutive season. A dire need for the team as WR Anquan Boldin is scheduled to become an unrestricted free-agent at season’s end, the need for a No. 1 wide-receiver was there.
However, 49ers GM Trent Baalke has since decided to roll the dice on two players he drafted in the fourth-round in WR Quinton Patton (2013) and WR Bruce Ellington (2014) and that is the camp battle I am most intrigued with this off-season.
Although Patton has yet to have a breakout season as he only played in 10 games in his first two NFL seasons — this year should be different as he fights with Ellington and veteran WR Jerome Simpson for the No. 3 wide-receiver role.
Coming out of the 2013 NFL Draft, I believed that Patton had arguably the best combination of hands, agility and speed. And while he does catch balls away from his body it’s his willingness to go across the middle that should have Forever Faithful excited.
Not to mention, Patton’s downfield blocking is also an added bonus, I can’t help but think that Patton will see plenty of targets from QB Colin Kaepernick as the two are very close friends with each other while being on the same page. The nickname I gave back in 2013, as I nicknamed Patton 7-11, look for that connection to blossom this season.
I spoke with Patton on the upcoming season and asked him for his thoughts heading into training camp. “I’m just staying in shape and continuing to work hard,” Patton said. “It’s going to be a good year.” And I believe that will become a reality.
Patton has been staying in shape by playing pick-up basketball games along with CB Tramaine Brock, FB Bruce Miller, LB Desmond Bishop, and RB Kendall Gaskins. And while it’s not football, the fact that he’s putting in work at the gym on a consistent basis is a strong indicator that good things are to come in 2015 for the Louisiana Tech product.
With the 49ers preparing for their first training camp under new head coach Jim Tomsula, I can’t help but think that Patton will turn heads and be one of the main attractions of the 2015 preseason and beyond.