Anatomy of a WR: Damoun Patterson

Jimmy Joe Savage

By G.Stryker
www.SteelerNation.com

Damoun Patterson has the size that teams like at 6’2” 190lbs, but is 10 pounds shy of the 200lb mark that teams covet. Although a little slight in the frame, he does have good long speed and shows that he can get open deep with his long, powerful strides.

Patterson played locally at Youngstown State University, so the Steelers must have had an eye on what he was doing there. Though his statistics seem pretty pedestrian, his yards per catch is exceptional at 17.3 YPC. He also plays on the kickoff and punt teams as a gunner, and playing special teams is what the Steelers love to see in a young receiver.

Here is a look at his highlights to see if we can find any trends to his receiving ability. The lyrics of these highlights are not suitable for work. Listen on mute if around coworkers or family:

0:08 Lined up in the slot and runs a 10 yard drag: Ball is low, does a good job of getting his hands down low to secure the catch with a defender draped on him. Nitpicking here, but the ball strikes the heel of his palms, and nearly bounces out. It is better to catch with the fingers and palms to soften the catch.

0:22 Lined up outside in the Z and runs a skinny post/stop: His route is a little chunky, but does a great job of getting his hands up, facing the QB and catching the ball with both palms.

0:34 Lined up in the slot and Z receiver comes in motion leaving him outside and runs a deep post: Runs a smooth route, adjust well to the ball in the air and secured a nice hands catch with both palms, though the ball bobbles slightly on the TD.

0:45 Lined up in the slot and runs a fly: Straight-line speed here and just blows through the defense. Elbows are out a little and bobbles the ball before securing it. Has the space to finish the TD run.

0:58 Lined up in the right slot and runs fly: Defender hits him at 8 yards and he does a nice job getting around the defender while gaining speed. Ball slightly underthrown, Patterson adjusts by jumping and catching it with his body, between 2 defenders.

1:11 Lined up in the X and runs a deep post: Great leg stride getting open deep. Catches the ball a bit awkwardly. The ball is low and he drops his palms low. The defender missed the ball, and could have made a play on it. Would have liked to see him more aggressive, since this ball could have been highpointed, and in the NFL this ball is defended.

1:22 In the slot and runs a fly: Again, instead of highpointing the ball he catches the ball with both palms facing up, low on his body. If the defender is closer, this is defended. Highpointing will limit the defender’s ability to defend in these situations.

1:36 X receiver in motion: Runs a circle route, and makes a good contested catch with both palms on the ball coming into his chest.

1:53 X receiver runs a 5yd drag. Body catches, but shows nice speed getting around the defenders to the edge for the TD.

2:05 Z receiver and runs a deep post: This is his strength. Nice long, powerful strides to get open deep. Traps the ball against his body.

2:15 Z receiver and runs a deep post: QB has to move in the pocket due to pressure, as a result the ball is underthrown. Patterson stops and highpoints the ball with a body trap and a defender draped on him. Great play on the ball in the air.

2:26 X receiver, runs a hitch out: Great stutter step when he starts his hitch, and is wide open because of it. Catches the ball cleanly with both palms on the ball.

2:35 This starts Patterson’s highlights for playing gunner on kickoff and punt teams. Gets down the field quickly and secures tackles.

3:35 Lined up in the X and runs a 15yd hitch: Ball is overthrown, adjusts deep to the ball in the air, and highpoints it perfectly with perfect hand placement. This is his best catch thus far. Very difficult, especially since he was hit by the defender.

3:46 Lined up outside in a 5WR set on the weak side and runs a fly: The ball is underthrown, he adjusts well and settles for a body trap. I like to see the ball caught with the palms of the hands in this situation.

3:55 Lined up in the X and runs a hitch. Defender is all over him, but he does a good job of hand checking and using his body to create space to make the catch. Got both palms on the ball and then trapped it with his chest. Nice play.

4:06 Lined up in the X and runs a 10yd out: Highpoints the ball well here and gets both palms on the football for a clean catch.

4:17 Lined up in the X and runs a 5 yard in: Faces the QB and gets both palms up and on the ball. Good mechanics.

4:27 Lined up in the Z and gets the ball immediately. Ball is a little low, and it looks like the ball may have been trapped in his gut. This is the first highlight where Patterson makes a defender miss with his wiggle.

4:39 Lined up in the Z and runs an end around: Very good job of keeping his speed parallel to the line of scrimmage and cuts up for a nice gain.

4:50 Lined up in the Z and runs an end around: Here he allows himself to give up ground and speed on the endaround. Not nearly as clean of a run, but still secures the first down.

5:01 X receiver, comes in motion for the end around: Lost a little ground after he gets the football, when he didn’t have to, and it slows him up enough that the play does not go for much yardage.

5:14 Z receiver and runs a hitch: Brings his hands up correctly, but ends up being a catch/trap with his chest. I like the ball caught away from the body here.

5:28 Z receiver and runs a 5 yard drag: Good hands catch, and uses his speed to gain some extra yardage after the catch.

5:40 Z receiver runs a quick hitch: Ball is thrown low, but he does a good job of bending his knees and getting both hands on it to catch it cleanly.

5:50 Don’t know the pattern, but the catch is a perfect over the shoulder catch with his elbows in and both palms on the football.

5:55 X receiver, runs a hitch/back shoulder throw: Another hand trap with the chest. In the pros, this ball must be caught away from the body.

6:05 Z receiver, runs a hitch in: Does a nice job of drifting his pattern toward the sideline to create space for the QB to throw. Again a bit of a chest trap, but lunges for the first down.

6:14 X receiver, runs an in: Drifts his patten a little deep. Should have kept moving parallel to the LOS to get more space. Hit immediately, when he traps the ball with his chest.

6:18 Z receiver, runs a 10yd out: Nice head fake to get space on the out. Still relying a little too much on the body catch here.

6:27 Z receiver, runs a hitch: Hands seem a little off. He got caught between a thumbs together catch, and a pinkies together low catch. As a result, his left hand is down, and his right hand is up in contrasting positions. This is not the way you want to catch a ball. Much tougher than reaching ahead of you with both palms facing the ball.

6:34 Z receiver, runs a hitch: Another low, pinkies together body trap. Cuts upfield quickly to get the first down.

Next 2 highlights are closeups of body catches downfield.

7:00 Nice over the shoulder catch with his palms and elbows in perfect position.

7:16 Last highlight shows nice adjustment to a tipped ball that is caught deep.

Analysis:

After looking at Damoun’s tape, I have to say, I am a fan of his route running. He is good breaking jams, getting defenders to move away from his pattern on short routes, and has a beautiful long stride deep. His strength is catching and adjusting to the deep ball. He is position flexible, playing all 3 WR spots. He also is a willing tackler on special teams.

Some of the negatives are, he gets a little sloppy in his hand positioning and relies on the body catch too much. He is a little undersized, and does not break tackles or make defenders miss with his quickness. He is strictly a straight line runner who wins with speed.

Patterson is very raw, but I see some instances where his potential can translate to being a professional. He has a very hard task this year to make the roster, and will have to separate himself as a deep ball threat, and as a special teams ace, to unseat Darrius Heyward-Bey. It probably won’t happen, but if he shows enough promise, he may be stashed on the practice squad to hone his potential as a future contributor.

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