Louisiana Tech's Quinton Patton caught 21 passes and scored four touchdowns.
In one game. Against Texas A&M.
No wonder Patton says that he's the best receiver in the draft.
"Everybody says I got the exposure off the Texas A&M game, but last year I played against of the best DBs that's in this draft, Johnthan Banks," Patton said of the game against Mississippi State in which he caught a season-high 11 passes. "I really don't care what people say. I'm just a ballplayer."
The Green Bay Packers enter this draft with a need at receiver, where the free-agent defection of Greg Jennings leaves them with just three proven performers to fuel one of the league's top passing attacks. Patton, who has been compared to Jennings, would be a realistic option for the Packers with the 26th pick of the draft.
As with Jennings or Indianapolis' Reggie Wayne, Patton doesn't have any overwhelming physical characteristics. Not that he's short, but at 6-foot right on the button, he's not exactly tall. Not that he's slow, but with a 4.53 from the Scouting Combine and unofficial 4.43 from Tuesday's pro day, he's not exactly fast. Not that he can't jump, but with a 33-inch vertical at the Combine and 37-inch on Tuesday, it's not like he's going to jump over any tall buildings in a single bound.
What makes Jennings great is his ability to get open and catch the ball. Patton shows some of those same skills. He's got a knack for getting open. He wins jump balls. He makes big plays.
"I just make plays," Patton said. "That's it. It don't matter if I'm blocking 60 yards downfield for a running back, going in and digging out a linebacker or safety. I have no fear on the field. Just get it done. Hard-nosed player."
Patton had a monster senior season with 104 receptions for 1,392 yards (13.4 average) and 13 touchdowns. In 2011 — his first season at Louisiana Tech after transferring from Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College — he caught 79 balls for 1,202 yards (15.2) and 11 scores.
"Quinton is a great receiver," his quarterback, Colby Cameron, said. "He's not only a good receiver but he's a good team player. He's awesome to have on the team and I was happy to have him. He made me better because he's always a hard worker and always pushing himself. We kept pushing each other and we have a real good connection and trust factor. As a quarterback, you can have receivers that you throw to, but when you build that trust and friendship, it's so much easier."
Patton had a fantastic week at the Senior Bowl, outplaying Baylor's touted Terrence Williams for much of the week.
"I don't say surprised," Patton said. "Came a little bit under the radar. But that's what I like: turning people's heads. I love to compete. I love to compete with the best at any time, any place, any where."
Without Jennings, the Packers didn't just lose an excellent player. They also lost one of their personalities in the locker room. Patton has a similar personality. Asked who he modeled his game after, Patton said "Chad Johnson, not Chad Ochocinco." Asked what he hoped to run in the 40, Patton joked, "5.2."
Why should Patton get the nod?
"I will say that I catch everything my way. I will say that I'm the best blocker," Patton said. "But at the end of the da,y I just make plays. No matter what it is doing, I'm going to give 110 percent every down, every minute of the game."
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.