By Adam Aniba
Draft Prospect Spotlight; Jaret Patterson
***UPDATE WAS signed Patterson as an UDFA 5/1/21****
It's that time of year again! Washington heads into the offseason as defending NFC East Champions with the draft being a prime opportunity to improve on both sides of the ball. The draft is also a unique opportunity to unearth potential gems in the mid-late rounds. In the 2020 draft the WFT selected running back Antonio Gibson 66th overall in the 3rd round and added J.D. McKissic along with Peyton Barber. Washington will likely look to improve the depth/skill set at the position at some point in the 2021 NFL Draft and we have just the prospect for Washington.
University of Buffalo running back Jaret Patterson made a name for himself after rushing for 409 yards and 8 touchdowns vs Kent State on 11/28/2020. At only 5'9" 195 lb. Patterson may be viewed as a situational back, but truth be told, he has the makings of a bell cow back. In the COVID abbreviated season, Patterson rushed for 1,072 yards with 19 scores in only 6 games, but more importantly led the nation with a 178.7 ypc average.
5'9" 195 lbs | RB | Univ at Buffalo
4th-5th Round Grade
Career Stats 636 att 3,884 yards rushing 52 td's 6.1 ypc and 20 rec 271 yards 1 td
2020 Stats 141 att 1072 yards rushing 19 td's 7.6 ypc
Tale of the Tape
Shifty with little wasted movement
Above average receiver with soft hands
Played in an RPO/Zone Read base concept offense
Quicker than fast, a house call waiting to happen
Difficult to bring down on initial contact
Although a bit of an upright runner, he can get small in tight spaces
Fit in Washington
With Gibson and McKissic being the likely two that are kept around by Head Coach Ron Rivera, an open spot in the rotation will likely get filled in free agency, the draft or both. Although Jaret Patterson was used sparingly as a pass catcher at Buffalo, that shouldn't be a deterrent for teams looking to upgrade their running back group. The Bulls running back has the ability to grind out yards after contact ,which was evident with his 7.6 ypc in 2020. There's no doubt Gibson will be a consistent 1,000 yard a year rusher, but having a back like Patterson to share the load, could entice OC Scott Turner to utilize Gibson more in the receiving game.
Washington will have an opportunity to fill multiple positions in the first three rounds of the draft, but if Patterson is available when Washington's pick roles around in Round 4, the WFT should pull the trigger.
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*Draft grades cross referenced by TDN