Even one of the quickest players on the field felt an increase in speed at the NFL level, even if most of the players he faced Friday were playing college ball last year, too.
First-round pick Cordarrelle Patterson is expected to step into the Vikings' lineup and make an impact at receiver and as a return man, but what stood out to him the most wasn't the playbook he studied Thursday night before his first NFL practice, it was the speed of everything on and off the field Friday in his first practice at the Vikings' rookie minicamp.
"To be honest, it felt good. Everything was faster than college. But it felt good being out here," Patterson said after his first practice.
"It was faster than I expected it, but I really didn't go in expecting anything. I just wanted to learn the playbook and just come out here and work hard."
Patterson's speed and moves were obvious. He showed off some of his signature stop-and-start quickness with the ball in his hands that was apparent in looking at highlight reels of him at the University of Tennessee before the draft. He was also able to outrun some of the cornerbacks during passing drills.
The Vikings have been working Patterson at split end and moving him on occasion to the other side at flanker, but the preferred method is to ease him into his assignments.
"It's similar to what we have to do with all young receivers, and what most teams have to do with young receivers in our league," Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said. "There's just so few of those guys who come in and make an impact early on at the wide receiver position. So we'll have to make sure he gets indoctrinated early, just like we're doing now, into our offense and just finding out what's the best way that he learns, and what do we have to do to make sure he has a chance to make a contribution in this first year.
"The obvious thing for him is the fact that he's a good returner. But he's a tremendous player with the ball in his hands. So we've got to figure out ways to get the ball in his hands. … We think we have a pretty good plan to get that done."
Patterson said he started on the playbook Thursday night before he even had a practice and said the coaches were challenging players in the first day.
"They told us to study. They're just seeing how much we can learn, throwing it at us this quick. But it's not what I expected. I'm getting it faster than I thought I would," he said.
"I really don't think it's going to take that long. Coach (George) Stewart has already said he and I are going to have a lot of sessions. So he'll make sure I know everything. We're going to spend extra time. I know everything is going to be good."
Patterson said he doesn't feel any pressure to replace Percy Harvin and doesn't buy into the comparisons.
For now, he's just trying to learn what is initially expected of him and getting to know Stewart, who pulled him aside often in the first two practices Friday.
"He knows you're going to make mistakes, just tells you to make sure you go full speed with it," Patterson said. "We're all going to make mistakes. We all can't be right. So I just go full speed. He says make sure you don't try to mess up, but when you do, make sure you give it your full effort."
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.
Patterson adjusting on the fly in first day
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