As of yesterday, 336 out of the 337 players who had been invited to the NFL Draft Combine had been either drafted or signed to an NFL contract. Only Shea Patterson, who one scout deemed “totally undraftable” at the Combine, remained, his career stuck in limbo.
The wait is over for the former Michigan signal-caller, as Patterson inked a contract with the defending Super Bowl champions, heading to Kansas City where he will battle for a spot on the depth chart behind Patrick Mahomes.
Patterson split his college career between Ole Miss and Michigan, spending two years apiece with each team. He started just ten games for Ole Miss, but he was Michigan’s starter for both seasons, and although the Wolverines didn’t meet expectations, Patterson put up solid numbers. Between the two seasons, the newest Chiefs’ signal-caller threw for 6,319 yards, accumulated 52 total touchdowns, while tossing 15 interceptions.
Patterson projects to have a ceiling as a back-up quarterback, if he can find the right system, and he may have signed with the right team. Patterson’s biggest strengths come outside the pocket, and scouts believe that without the natural tools to consistently beat NFL secondaries, working in a RPO-heavy system would be highly beneficial. Kansas City Coach Andy Reid has long been an advocate of the run-pass-option, and Patterson may get a chance to utilize his athleticism and work his way onto the Kansas City roster. There is some ambiguity as to who is Mahomes’ back-up entering 2020 – Matt Moore a free-agent, Chad Henne has only completed two NFL passes since 2014, and XFL star Jordan Ta’amu is the only other signal-caller on the roster. Patterson is hardly likely to be the immediate #2 under Mahomes, but Reid may just give him a chance to stick around as the third quarterback, or on the practice squad.
For a situation that was looking pretty glum until yesterday, Patterson may have finessed his way into the best possible situation he could by signing with Kansas City.