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Spielman: Cordarrelle Patterson has grown up 'a lot'

At the league meetings last month, Vikings coach Mike Zimmer tried his best to reason with a fan base clamoring for more of wideout Cordarrelle Patterson.

The gist was that there's no doubt he is a phenomenal talent. Anyone with eyes can see that. But Patterson desperately needs to round out the fundamental aspects of his game in order to get himself on the field.

It's part of the reason why the Vikings are less than a week away from the NFL Draft and are considering taking a wide receiver.

"There's no question he is, again there's another young guy that came out early and made a splash his rookie year because of his unique speed and his unique athletic traits," general manager Rick Spielman told The Star Tribune. "Sometimes you have to go through some growing pains where you have to realize it's more than just that. It's more than just relying on your athletic skill set and what it takes to be a great receiver in this league."

On the bright side, Spielman thinks Patterson has turned a corner in that respect.

"I think Cordarrelle has really grown up a lot," Spielman said. "I know what he has done this offseason dedicating himself to being the best receiver he can be, and how serious he is taking that, we're very excited about the future with Cordarrelle."

If Patterson could round out the other aspects of his game, especially downfield blocking, there's no question he would be on the field more and would have more opportunities to develop as a route runner.

It's part of the reason he was looked at as one of the more raw prospects in the 2013 NFL Draft.

But in a way, he represents an entire offense on the threshold. Imagine if Teddy Bridgewater took another step forward in 2015 and Adrian Peterson came back ready to play. Imagine if Patterson made the Vikings think they didn't have to supplement him with another wideout in next year's draft.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast conducts a redraft of the 2014 NFL Draft before chatting about this year's event with Daniel Jeremiah. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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