MANKATO — The comparisons are inevitable.
Not because they look alike: One is four-year veteran who stands 5-11 and weighs 192 pounds. The other is an NFL rookie who checks in a 6-2, 216.
But Percy Harvin and Cordarrelle Patterson will be forever linked in the minds of Vikings fans. Harvin was an outstanding return specialist/wide receiver for the Vikings who was traded during the offseason. Patterson is the first-round draft choice who will be asked to fill much of the same role.
But before fans get into the habit of referring to Patterson as the new Percy Harvin, the rookie has a message for them.
“I’m not Percy,” he said “I know he was a great player here and still is, but I’m Cordarrelle Patterson. All I can do is be myself.”
Patterson comes to the Vikings with high expectations, much of them put on the newcomer by the team itself. The Vikings traded away four draft choices to New England to move back into the first round and nab Patterson with the 29th pick.
In addition, the Vikings have issued Patterson jersey No. 84 — Randy Moss’ old number.
“That was all me,” Patterson said of the number. “I’ve been wearing 84 since high school and when I saw it was available I just asked for it.
“It’s nice that Randy Moss used to wear it. It’s awesome that I get a chance to play on the same field as him.”
Vikings’ offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave is a believer in all the initial hype surrounding Patterson.
“He’s definitely gifted with his size and his speed,” Musgrave said at mini-camp. “He’s really asserting himself in the meeing room trying to learn our system. He just needs to get more familiar with the system and play faster — less thinking, more reacting.”