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Cordarrelle Patterson could be Vikings' return man

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson will have to battle for a starting gig in the offense, but he already has the inside track to be a returner.

The first-round draft pick spent the first two days of Vikings training camp as the primary kick returner -- Percy Harvin's former job -- and impressed coach Leslie Frazier.

"It wasn't like starting from zero like we thought it might be," Frazier said Saturday, per the St. Paul Pioneer Press. "That encourages all of us. Now take that with a grain of salt. We've got a lot more football to go, but we like what we see so far."

Patterson has the raw skill, speed and make-you-miss moves to excel in the return game. Frazier insisted the receiver's time on special teams would in no way diminish any role he earns in the Vikings' offense.

The rookie also spent a large portion of Saturday's practice with the first-team offense, according to the Pioneer Press, enhancing the belief that he might win a starting receiver gig out of the gate.

Should Patterson win the return job along with a starting receiver spot, it would be a clear sign of the Vikings' belief in his ability to contribute as a rookie. 

Follow Kevin Patra on Twitter @kpatra.

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