The Mobile, Alabama native; better known as the NFL underdog, wasn’t going to let anything stop him from accomplishing this dream – not his small size, not getting an invite to the NFL Combine, or the inclement weather at his Pro Day that forced him to run the 40-yard dash barefoot.
5-foot-9, 173 pound Patton had a quiet first three years during his career at Florida and knew that he needed an impressive senior year to boost his chances of playing at the next level. With his relentless attitude and extraordinary work ethic, Patton did just that.
During Patton’s senior season at Florida he was named MVP, and became the most explosive playmaker on Florida’s squad. He caught 44 passes for 556 yards and six touchdowns and also ran 16 times for 71 yards with the Gators during the 2013 season. He also set a single-season school record with a 29.2-yard average on kick returns.
Even at Florida’s annual Pro Day, Patton shined, just as he did during his final campaign at the University of Florida. The weather was less than ideal, but he knew this was the last chance for him to really show NFL coaches, general managers and scouts how talented he is, and wasn’t going to let anything prevent him from showcasing his athletic ability, or affect his chances of playing in the NFL
In fact, Patton had had the most impressive day of any Gator, running an unofficial best of 4.31 seconds in the 40-yard dash and performing well in drills, catching most passes in the rain. His phenomenal performance at his Pro Day impressed a lot of scouts. One team that expressed a lot of interest was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Bucs have emphasized the importance of upgrading their offense and felt that the talented Florida product would suffice that need. Therefore, immediately following the draft the Bucs agreed to terms with the priority free agent wide receiver. Patton joins first-round draft pick Mike Evans of Texas A&M as well as former teammate Jeff Demps who is entering his second year with the Bucs.
Patton well represented the University of Florida and there is no doubt in my mind he won’t do the same as the newest member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He will begin his NFL journey and the moment he has waited his entire life for this weekend when Tampa Bay holds its’ rookie minicamp.